Manchester City were handed a tough group draw for their maiden journey into Europe’s elite competition, the Champions League. Roberto Mancini’s men were paired with Bayern Munich, Villareal and Napoli although the Italian will have been pleased to have avoided big guns Barcelona and AC Milan.
City will make their debut at home to Napoli on 14th September and before travelling to Germany to face Bayern 13 days later.
Last year’s runners up Manchester United will be quietly confident of progressing after they were drawn with Benfica, Basel and unknown Romanian outfit Otelul Galati while Andreas Villas-Boas will take charge of his first Champions league campaign with Chelsea with ties against Valencia, Bayern Leverkusen and Genk.
The meetings with Leverkusen in match day one and Valencia 2 weeks later will be interesting with Michael Ballack set for a Stamford Bridge reunion while recent signing Juan Mata will get an early chance to show his old employers just what they are missing out on.
Finally Arsenal, who beat Udinese 3-1 on aggregate in the qualifiers, will face Marseille, Borussia Dortmund and Olympiakos with Arsene Wenger’s men set for a tricky opener away to the Germans.
Draw in full
Zenit St Petersburg