Tottenham Hotspur must face current holders Real Madrid in a difficult UEFA Champions League group which also includes Borussia Dortmund.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men failed to make the knockout stages last season when they struggled at Wembley, the stadium they are calling home for the duration of the current campaign. And they will likely find life difficult again this time round, having been drawn against the reigning European champions in Group H which also includes Borussia Dortmund and Cypriot side APOEL.
Capital rivals Chelsea have also been drawn in a tough group. Antonio Conte has faced a difficult summer in the transfer window, with star striker Diego Costa angling for a return to Atletico Madrid after being told he is surplus to requirements. The Blues will face the Spanish giants in C, and must also take on Serie A runners-up Roma and Azerbaijan champions Qarabag.
Manchester United return to the Champions League after winning the UEFA Europa League last season, and Jose Mourinho’s side can be quietly confident of making the last 16 after being draw in Group A with Benfica, Basel and CSKA Moscow. The Reds have faced all three sides in recent years with varying success, although the Portuguese and Swiss teams have inflicted defeats on them in the past.
Rivals Manchester City can also be satisfied with their pool, although they will have to face Napoli again, the side who knocked them out in their first venture in the competition in its current guise six years ago. But Pep Guardiola’s side will feel more confident taking on Shakhtar Donetsk and Feyenoord, as they look to finally make their mark as one of the leading club sides in European football.
Liverpool have also been given a favourable draw, although they face Sevilla who beat them in the Europa League final two years ago. Jurgen Klopp’s side will no doubt see the Spaniards as their main competition as they look to progress to the last 16, with Spartak Moscow and Maribor, the Slovenian champions, making up what at least on paper looks like being a comfortable group.
Celtic perhaps have the toughest group of all British sides. The Scottish champions have been drawn in Group B, where they will face Bayern Munich, Neymar’s Paris Saint Germain, and Anderlecht. Juventus will face Barcelona in Group D which also contains Olympiakos and Sporting Lisbon, and Group G will be contested between Monaco, Porto, Besiktas and first-time entrants RB Leipzig.