French football champions Paris Saint-Germain will face Barcelona, Ajax and Apoel FC in one of the tougher groups in this year’s Champions League following the draw in Monaco Thursday.
Though they avoided last year’s winners Real Madrid and runners up Atletico, PSG’s Group F opponents feature two clubs that have won the competition four times each in the shape of Ajax and Barcelona, the latter as recently as 2011.
PSG, seeded in the second of four pots for the draw, face less intimidating opposition in Cypriot side Apoel, though the club did make it to the quarter-finals of the tournament in 2012.
Fellow French club Monaco will likely be pleased with their draw. Grouped among the fourth seeds, last year’s Ligue 1 runners-up could have done a lot worse than their Group C opponents Benfica, Zenit St Petersburg and Bayer Leverkusen.
Nevertheless, Benfica, coming off the back of a domestic treble and a run to the Europa League final last season, could prove a tough test, while a long away trip to Russia will be a less than appealing prospect.
Elsewhere, Group E looks set to be this year’s ‘Group of Death’, featuring German champions Bayern Munich, English champions Manchester City, Russian champions CSKA Moscow and Italian side AS Roma, who finished second in last season’s Serie A.
The draw in full:
Group A: Atletico Madrid (Spain) Juventus (Italy) Olympiakos Piraeus (Greece) Malmo (Sweden)
Group B: Real Madrid (Spain) Basel (Switzerland) Liverpool (England) Ludogorets (Bulgaria)
Group C: Benfica (Portugal) Zenit St Petersburg (Russia) Bayer Leverkusen (Germany) Monaco (France)
Group D: Arsenal (England) Borussia Dortmund (Germany) Galatasaray (Turkey) Anderlecht (Belgium)
Group E: Bayern Munich (Germany) Manchester City (England) CSKA Moscow (Russia) AS Roma (Italy)
Group F: Barcelona (Spain) Paris St Germain (France) Ajax Amsterdam (Netherlands) APOEL Nicosia (Cyprus)
Group G: Chelsea (England) Schalke 04 (Germany) Sporting Lisbon (Portugal) Maribor (Slovenia)
Group H: Porto (Portugal) Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine) Athletic Bilbao (Spain) BATE Borisov (Belarus)
Date created : 2014-08-28