Arsenal, fresh from their qualification for the tournament on Wednesday night, have been drawn into the most difficult group of the competition. The draw was made on Thursday night.
Arsene Wenger's team were placed in group F. Their opponents are: French club Olympique Marseille, last season's Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund and Italian dark horses Napoli, whose coach, Rafael Benitez, has an exceptional record in European competition. The battle of wits between Wenger, Benitez and Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp is one of the most fascinating aspects to the group.
Another group that is sure to draw focus is group H, which includes Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax and Celtic. Fittingly, the one word to describe group H is history. One would be hard-pressed to find four more storied clubs across Europe. Between them, group history has won the European Cup 16 times. Every fixture in this group is likely to have a special atmosphere.
Manchester United and Chelsea, when compared to Arsenal have been handed favourable draws. United will take on Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen and Real Sociedad. Chelsea will face Shalke, Basel and Steaua Bucharest.
Premier League rivals Manchester City have to contend with last year's Champions League winners Bayern Munich. Having been knocked out of the group stage last year, City will be hoping to reach the quarter finals at the very minimum. The other teams in the group are CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen.
Lastly, Real Madrid are in the same group with Serie A champions Juventus. Both teams are favourites to progress but it would be foolish to under estimate Galatasaray and Kobenhavn.
The draw in full is as follows:
Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Sociedad
Real Madrid, Juventus, Galatasaray, FC Kobenhavn
Benfica, Paris Saint-Germain, Olympiacos, Anderlecht
Bayern Munich, Manchester City, CSKA Moskva, Viktoria Plzen
Chelsea, Shalke 04, FC Basel, Steaua Bucuresti
Arsenal, Olympique Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli
FC Porto, Atletico Madrid, Zenit St. Petersburg, Austria Wein
Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax Amsterdam, Celtic