Tue. Oct 27th, 2020

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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW: Manchester United face a rough ride

3 min read

Great rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will finally do battle once again in the Champions League group stages this season, after Juventus were pitted against Barcelona in Thursday’s draw.

The draw was concluded at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, with the pick of the fixtures being the high profile showdown between the wounded animal of Barca and European under-performers Juve.

Premier League clubs have also learned their fate with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool set to go up against two tricky opponents in Ajax and Atalanta in Group D before meeting Danish minnows FC Midtjylland.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus will go up against Spanish giants Barcelona

Messi will lead his side in the Group G clash against the Serie A outfit

Great rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will once again meet in the Champions League

Manchester United will once again have to go up against PSG on the European stage

Manchester United will once again have to go up against PSG on the European stage

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUPS 2020-21 

GROUP A

Bayern Munich

Atletico Madrid

RB Salzburg

Lokomotiv Moscow 

GROUP B

Real Madrid

Shakhtar Donetsk

Inter Milan

Borussia Monchengladbach 

GROUP C

Porto

Manchester City

Olympiacos

Marseille 

GROUP D

Liverpool

Ajax

Atalanta

Midtjylland 

GROUP E

Sevilla

Chelsea

Krasnodar

Rennes 

GROUP F

Zenit

Borussia Dortmund

Lazio

Brugges 

GROUP G

Juventus

Barcelona

Dynamo Kyiv

Ferencvaros 

GROUP H

Paris Saint Germain

Manchester United

RB Leizpig

Istanbul Basaksehir 

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Meanwhile the returning Manchester United will once against meet Paris Saint- Germain in the competition, in a throwback fixture from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s heroic victory over the Parisians in March 2019. 

Solskjaer’s side have not been afforded a pleasant welcome home party to European football’s premier competition, and will also have to overcome last season’s semi-finalists RB Leipzig in Group H while also contending with a trip to Istanbul Basaksehir.

It sees United dealt a very nervous hand, with two tough fixtures before a long-haul flight against unpredictable opposition in the Turkish capital. 

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City missed a horror draw against the likes of current holders Bayern Munich or Spanish royalty Real Madrid, and will instead face a trip to Portugal to lock horns with Porto, before meeting Olympiacos and Marseille in Group C.

City are well versed in French opponents, having had their hearts broken by Lyon in the quarter-finals of last season’s competition, despite being overwhelming favourites to make the final. 

Frank Lampard’s Chelsea find themselves in a testing group with last season’s Europa League winners Sevilla, along with FC Krasnodar of Russia and Rennes.

Holders Bayern Munich face a tasty encounter with Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, with potential dark horses RB Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow also joining the two giants in Group A.

Group B sees Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid go up against Serie A giants Inter Milan, with Shakhtar Donetsk and Borussia Monchengladbach making up the places.

Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund may well be breathing a sigh of relief and will fancy their chances of progression, after being drawn in Group F alongside Zenit St Petersburg, Lazio and Brugges.

On Friday, UEFA will release the fixture schedules for the Champions League group stage.

Teams in the competition have now been informed they can have up to 30 per cent of stadiums filled with supporters – only home fans and only on the conditions of local authorities in the area permitting this action in line with coronavirus guidelines.  

The ceremony was conducted without an audience present in Nyon, as former Chelsea stars Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda made guest appearances in the studio to help the selection process.

Awards for last season’s competition were also handed out throughout the proceedings, with Bayern Munich taking a clean sweep of the honours.

Manuel Neuer was named UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year, while team-mate Joshua Kimmich took the honour for Defender of the Year.

City star Kevin De Bruyne was rewarded for a sublime season by winning Midfielder of the Year, before the inevitable crowning of Robert Lewandowksi as Striker of the Year.

The Poland international also scooped the overall award for UEFA Player of the Year 2019-20. 

Ole Gunnar Solskajer faces a tough return, with Manchester United set to face PSG and Leipzig

Ole Gunnar Solskajer faces a tough return, with Manchester United set to face PSG and Leipzig

In early 2019 Solskajer built his United reign on a miraculous comeback victory over PSG

In early 2019 Solskajer built his United reign on a miraculous comeback victory over PSG

Scroll below to recount how the full draw unfolded in Nyon, with Sportsmail’s Nathan Salt. 

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