2010-11 CHAMPIONS GROUP STAGES ARE SET AS DRAW IS COMPLETED
French club Auxerre may just be wondering what they did to anger the gods of the sport. The Ligue 1 side made it through the Qualifying and Playoff stages of the Champions League, only to get grouped with AC Milan, Real Madrid and Ajax in Group G of the competition’s Group Stages. The three teams combined to won the European Cup 20 times.
New Madrid boss Jose Mourinho will be returning to Milan, but against former rivals AC Milan. Ajax and Auxerre will be thanking the draw for such intriguing high profile draws.
“You want to win every match and when you see AC Milan and Real Madrid in the pool, you know it will be tough,” Ajax coach Martin Jol said Thursday.
The Group G lineup is, beyond doubt the most intriguing, but many of the groups will provide some very interesting ties over the next few months.
Tottenham Hotspur was drawn into Group A with Defending Champion Inter Milan, Werder Bremen and Dutch Champions FC Twente. A tough Group indeed for Harry Redknapp’s side which advanced through the Playoff round. Inter Milan’s new man in charge, former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez will be returning to England to take on Spurs.
Manchester United are in Group C with Scottish Champions Rangers, a club Alex Ferguson played for in the 1960′s. The two sides will resume their ‘Battle of Britain’ from the 2003-04 season of this competition. The two British clubs will also be challenged by Valencia and Bursaspor of Turkey.
Premier League clubs Chelsea and Arsenal will be looking at some serious frequent flier miles in the next few months.
Chelsea is faced with travel to Moscow and Žilina Slovakia in addition to a trip to Marseilles where star striker Didier Drogba will be reunited with his former club.
Arsenal will be heading to the Ukraine to play Shakhtar Donetsk where the Gunners will meet former striker Eduardo da Silva. FK Partizan in Serbia and Braga in Portugal will also be on the itinerary. All three clubs will provide a rough atmosphere for Arsene Wenger’s men. Arsenal lost 3-0 in Donetsk ten years ago.
Barcelona will like their group which features Panathinaikos, and Copenhagen, but will be faced with a Rubin Kazan side for the second year in a row. Kazan beat Barca at the Nou Camp last season in the Group Stages.
Group Stage match days will take place September 14-15 and 28-29. October 19-20. November 2-3 and 23-24. December 7-8.
2010-11 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE COMPLETE GROUP DRAW
|GROUP A||GROUP B||GROUP C||GROUP D|
|Inter Milan (ITA)||Lyon (FRA)||Manchester United (ENG)||Barcelona (ESP)|
|Werder Bremen (GER)||Benfica (POR)||Valencia (ESP)||Panathinaikos (GRE)|
|Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)||Schalke 04 (GER)||Rangers (SCO)||Copenhagen (DEN)|
|FC Twente (NED)||Hapoel Tel Aviv (ISR)||Bursaspor (TUR)||Rubin Kazan (RUS)|
|GROUP E||GROUP F||GROUP G||GROUP H|
|Bayern Munich (GER)||Chelsea (ENG)||AC Milan (ITA)||Arsenal (ENG)|
|Roma (ITA)||Marseille (FRA)||Real Madrid (ESP)||Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)|
|FC Basel (SUI)||Spartak Moscow (RUS)||Ajax (NED)||SC Braga (POR)|
|CFR Cluj (ROM)||MSK Žilina (SVK)||Auxerre (FRA)||FK Partizan (SRB)|