Champions League draw: bad news for Arsenal and Man City

Gunners must face Bayern Munich as unlucky Man City are drawn in the 'Group of Death'

Champions League groups
(Image credit: Valerie Hache/Getty)

It hasn't been the best of starts to the new season for Arsenal. Having stuttered their way to four points from a possible nine in their opening three Premier League matches, the Gunners learned on Thursday that if they want to make any headway in this season's Champions League they'll have to get past their old nemesis, Bayern Munich.

It will be the third time in four seasons that the Gunners have faced the German powerhouse in Europe's showpiece competition, and on the two previous occasions Bayern have triumphed, although the Gunners will at least be spared the prospect of elimination this time round, as the two teams will face off in the group stages.

In 2012-13, Arsenal were beaten 3-1 at home to Bayern in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash, and though the Gunners won 2-0 in Munich it wasn't enough to take them through to the quarter-finals. Bayern went on to win the trophy that season, and the following year the sides again met in the last 16 with the Germans winning 2-0 at the Emirates while the return leg finished 1-1. "If I'm being honest, we would probably have preferred not to be facing Bayern Munich but that's where we are," said Arsenal secretary David Miles. "It's about time we turned the tables on them"

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As well as Bayern, Arsenal - who have qualified for the Champions League for an 18th consecutive season - face Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos of Greece, and will expect to make it through to the knockout stages of the competition, although their chances of winning the group look slim.

Manchester City, once again, face a daunting challenge if they wish to finally fulfil their potential in a tournament in which they've seriously underperformed over the last five seasons. The Citizens will be pleased that they have avoided Bayern, having been drawn in the same group in three of the previous four seasons. However, they do have to face last season's Champions League runners-up, Juventus, as well as the Europa League winners Sevilla and Borussia Monchengladbach of Germany. Already the media have dubbed it the "Group of Death" with The Guardian saying there is "serious potential for rigor mortis to set in".

Chelsea are paired with Porto, with whom Jose Mourinho won the competition in 2004, and also Dinamo Kiev and Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel.

Manchester United received the easiest draw among the English representatives, a relief for their fans after the ignominy of missing out on the competition last season. After beating Brugge 7-1 in their qualifying leg, the Red Devils' reward is to be grouped with PSV Eindhoven (the former club of summer signing Memphis Depay), CSKA Moscow and Wolfsburg.

Other notable groups include A, where Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain face-off, along with Swedish outfit Malmo and Shakhtar Donetsk of the Ukraine, while champions Barcelona shouldn't have too much problem progressing from their pool containing Bayer Leverkusen, Roma, BATE Borisov of Belarus.

The Champions League Groups (first round to be played September 15/16):

Group A:

Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Malmo

Group B:

PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, CSKA Moscow, VfL Wolfsburg

Group C:

Benfica, Atletico Madrid, Galatasaray, Astana

Group D:

Juventus, Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Monchengladbach

Group E:

Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen, AS Roma, BATE Borisov

Group F:

Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Olympiakos, Dinamo Zagreb

Group G:

Chelsea, Porto, Dynamo Kiev, Maccabi Tel-Aviv

Group H:

Zenit St Petersburg, Valencia, Olympique Lyonnais, Gent

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