Champions League draw: Barcelona pitted with Inter | inside World Soccer


Champions League draw: Barcelona pitted with Inter

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Defending champions Barcelona must face Inter Milan in the group stages of the Champions League following the draw to decide the groups at Monaco.

The group F match on September 16, should see Zlatan Ibrahimović and Samuel Eto’o face their former clubs after the Spanish and Italian champions swapped strikers in the offseason.

The toughest group of eight drawn on Thursday also has long trips to face Ukraine champion Dynamo Kyiv and Russian club Rubin Kazan, making their debut in the competition.

While nine-time champions Real Madrid will play seven-time winners AC Milan in Group C. The group also includes Olympique Marseille and FC Zürich.

Four-time winners Bayern Munich and two-time holders Juventus were grouped with French champions Bordeaux and Maccabi Haifa of Israel in Group A.

Sevilla will start favorite in Group G against Glasgow Rangers, VfB Stuttgart and Romanian champions Unirea Urziceni, which had never played top-tier football until 2006.

Meanwhile, England's four representatives got as easy a ride as they are ever likely to get.

Arsenal will be confident of topping Group H given that they have been paired with AZ Alkmaar, Olympiakos, Standard Liège.

Chelsea are seeded in Group D where they meet two-time champions FC Porto, Atlético Madrid and Cypriots APOEL Nicosia.

Liverpool head up Group E and will tackle French giants Olympique Lyon, who have never been past the quarters, Fiorentina of Italy and Debrecen of Hungary.

As for Manchester United, they will play Bundesliga winners VfL Wolfsburg, CSKA Moscow and Turkish champions Besiktas in Group B.

The clubs will now meet home and away across six matchdays from September to December with the top two qualifying for the knockout phase, with the ultimate prize on offer in the final at Real's Santiago Bernabéu on May 22.


Champions League draw:

Group A: Bayern Munich, Juventus, Bordeaux, Maccabi Haifa
Group B: Manchester United, CSKA Moscow, Besiktas, Wolfsburg
Group C: AC Milan, Real Madrid, Marseille, FC Zurich
Group D: Chelsea, Porto, Atlético Madrid, Apoel Nicosia
Group E: Liverpool, Lyon, Fiorentina, Debrecen
Group F: Barcelona, Inter Milan, Dynamo Kiev, Rubin Kazan
Group G: Sevilla, Rangers, Stuttgart, Unirea Urziceni
Group H: Arsenal, AZ Alkmaar, Olympiakos, Standard Liège

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