UCL draw: Man United to face Ronaldo's Juventus

UCL draw: Man United to face Ronaldo's Juventus

Javier Howell
September 2, 2018

Atletico Madrid, whose Metropolitano stadium hosts the final on June 1 are grouped with Borussia Dortmund, Monaco and Club Brugge in Group A.

City have been drawn in a group with Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon and Hoffenheim.

Barcelona heads a tough-looking Group B with Tottenham, plus former champions PSV Eindhoven and Inter Milan.

Last season's winners Real Madrid, who have won the competition for the past three years, are in Group G with Roma, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen.

There will also be a return to Spain for Ronaldo as Group H is filled out with La Liga club Valencia, as well as Swiss champions Young Boys.

The group stage begins on September 18, with two clubs from each group advancing to the knockout stage.

Due to the seeding system and UEFA's policy of keeping teams from the same countries apart in the group stage, there was a shortage of big heavyweight clashes but lots of intriguing ties.

"I expected a hard group, we have a hard group and that's what the Champions League is all about", Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp said.

This season, the other three English sides have notionally challenging groups, with Spurs again drawn in the closest thing to a group of death, but that is one of two that aren't quite as complicated as they initially appear.

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Liverpool met Red Star Belgrade in the last 16 of the European Cup in 1973-74, with the Reds losing both the home and away legs.

Recall that the miners were once in the group stage thanks to a victory in the championship 2017/18.

But Allegri also said that the choice of Modric must be respected.

Ronaldo skipped the Champions League draw and Juventus chief Giuseppe Marotta defended the 33-year-old forward's no-show, insisting their prized recruit deserved the award.

"We picked the best team in the world and two others who will create us many problems", said Roma captain Daniele De Rossi.

Group E also has three former European champions - Bayern Munich, Benfica and Ajax Amsterdam - alongside AEK Athens.

We are in a very different football world to seasons like 1998-99, when the opening round dictated everything that followed.

It is becoming ever harder for clubs from elsewhere to compete, but this draw ensures there will be some variety on into the knockout rounds, not least with Lokomotiv Moscow, Porto and Galatasaray joining Bundesliga side Schalke in Group D.