UEFA Champions League draw sees Manchester United in group of death
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s major achievements at Manchester United include qualifying for the Champions League and reaching three semi-finals in one season – not an insignificant advance of most of the managers who came before him following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
Perhaps the greatest single game the Norwegian presided over, of course, was the stunning aggregate victory sealed by a last-minute Marcus Rashford penalty past Gianluigi Buffon. It led to one of the greatest celebration photographs of all-time:
Legends. #MUFC pic.twitter.com/l7x74snTs6— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 6, 2019
United and Solskjaer will renew rivalries with Paris St. Germain in this coming season’s UEFA Champions League after the two teams were drawn together in Group H of the UEFA Champions League. PSG, of course, got all the way to the final last year before succumbing to the all-conquering Bayern Munich team who won the ultimate treble in 2019/20 – the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League.
If we can see the sort of drama that United produced in Paris last time, we could be in for a treat.
Elsewhere, there are tough groups for Liverpool and Real Madrid, who met in the final two and a half years ago. Manchester City and Chelsea will both be hoping to progress from groups that feature lesser teams, but it is United who have the toughest draw.
As well as a trip to Turkey to take on Istanbul Basaksehir, United will take on RB Leipzig, who reached the semi-finals of the tournament last year.
Another interesting clash sees Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo face off as Barcelona and Juventus will play each other twice in the group stage.
Here’s the entire draw as it happened, in group order.
UEFA Champions League Group Stage Draw in full:
Group A: Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Red Bull Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moscow
Group B: Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan, Borussia Monchengladbach
Group C: Porto, Man City, Olympiakos, Marseille
Group D: Liverpool, Ajax, Atalanta, Midtjylland
Group E: Sevilla, Chelsea, Krasnodar, Rennes
Group F: Zenit St Petersburg, Borussia Dortmund, Lazio, Club Bruges
Group G: Juventus, Barcelona, Dynamo Kiev, Ferencvaros
Group H: Paris St-Germain, Man Utd, RB Leipzig, Istanbul Basaksehir
The dates for each matchweek to take place are released too, with everything looking to start in just over a fortnight’s time.
Matchday #1: 20th/21st October
Matchday #2: 27th/28th October
Matchday #3: 3rd/4th November
Matchday #4: 24th/25th November
Matchday #5: 1st/2nd December
Matchday #6: 8th/9th December
The final is on the 2thh May at Istanbul’s Ataturk Stadium in Turkey, and we can see Liverpool if not winning it then reaching the final. At 11/2, they’re a great price to win the trophy. Favourites Manchester City and Bayern Munich will be tough to stop, but what is perhaps most interesting is how long Barcelona’s odds are. Lionel Messi’s side are a whopping 16/1 – can you ever remember them being such outsiders in this competition?
Champions League Winner Odds (correct as of October 1st, 2020):
Bayern Munich – 9/2
Manchester City – 9/2
Liverpool – 11/2
Paris St. Germain – 11/1
Real Madrid – 12/1
Juventus – 14/1
Barcelona – 16/1
Chelsea – 25/1
Atletico Madrid – 25/1
Manchester United – 28/1
Inter Milan – 33/1
Borussia Dortmund – 33/1
Sevilla – 70/1
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