Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, the two main contenders to win the Champions League, will face off in the group stage of this season’s competition after coming together in Thursday’s draw.
Pep Guardiola’s City beat PSG in the Champions League semi-final last season and were on the verge of losing to Chelsea in Porto.
Qatar-owned Paris responded to the disappointment by signing Lionel Messi, and it is possible that the two clubs’ meetings could see Argentina face their arch-rivals Cristiano Ronaldo.
Before the European transfer window closes on Tuesday, August 31, the Portuguese forward is being linked with a move to Juventus, a city owned by Abu Dhabi.
PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino said: “It is significant that Manchester City are one of the best teams in Europe and are fighting to win the Champions League.
“The challenge is to try to finish first in the group.”
Club AB is with RB Leipzig and Belgian champions Club Brugge.
Leipzig was already in a group with PSG last season, with both sides qualifying for the last 16 ahead of Manchester United.
The German, who also lost to PSG in the semi-finals of 2020, lost to coach Julian Naglesman from Bayern Munich in the summer and was replaced by Marsh of the United States.
– Juventus against Chelsea –
Holders will play Juventus in Chelsea Group H and both clubs will be expected to advance from one section, including Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg and Malm.
The Swedish champion knocked out Steven Gerrard’s Rangers in the third qualifying round.
St. Petersburg will host this season’s Champions League final on May 28 next year.
Thursday’s draw in Istanbul saw Barcelona out in the exciting Group E with Bayern, Benfica and Ukrainian champions Dynamo Kiev.
This will be Barca’s first meeting with Byron since the German giants beat him 8-2 in the quarter-finals at Benfica’s Estadio da Luz in Lisbon a year ago.
Ronald Koeman’s side are launching the first Champions League campaign since Messi’s departure, with which he last lifted the trophy in 2015.
“Barcelona is a different team without Messi, but they still have good players in their ranks. We want to be the ideal winner through the group.”
– Klopp: ‘I laughed’
Liverpool will face Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, returning to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium where they beat Tottenham Hotspur in the 2019 final to win the European Cup for the sixth time.
Jurgen Klopp’s side will also play AC Milan and FC Porto in Group B Milan, who have won the trophy seven times, returning to the Champions League for the first time since 2013/14 when they are in their second season at Sri AA. I came
“I laughed, to be honest, out loud because it’s a tough group,” Klopp told Liverpool.com.
Manchester United came out in Group F with Valeral, Atlanta and Swiss champions Young Boys.
Ole Gunnar Solskjیرr lost to Villarreal on penalties in last season’s Europa League final.
Real Madrid, the 13-time European champions, are in the same group as Italian champions Inter Milan and Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk for the second consecutive season.
Moldova’s debutant Sheriff Terraspol completed Group D. They have gone through four qualifying matches to reach the group stage, notably beating Red Star Belgrade and Denamo Zagreb.
Earling Holland’s Borussia Dortmund will compete in Group C with former champions Ajax as well as Sporting Lisbon and Besiktas, while Lilly, Sevilla, Red Bull Salzburg and Wolfsburg will join Group G.
The first round of fixtures will be played on September 14 and 15.
It remains to be seen whether the UEFA will lift the ban on spectators participating in European matches.
Pressure group Football Supporters Europe this week called for a review of the UEFA, saying “guidelines for spectators should be decided on a case-by-case basis according to the local public health situation.”
UEFA will release the schedule for the group stage. The group finals will be played on December 7 and 8.