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Thursday 29 August 2013

UEFA Champions League: Arsenal handed tough test

Arsene Wenger's team to face Marseille, Napoli and Dortmund, while Man City face Bayern Munich

  • Man City were drawn against Bayern in the UEFA Champions League two seasons ago

  • Arsenal faced Napoli in a pre-season friendly at Emirates Stadium this month

Arsenal were the Barclays Premier League club who were handed arguably the most difficult task when the groups for the UEFA Champions League were drawn in Monaco.

Arsene Wenger's team will face Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, last year's finalists, and Napoli, runners-up in Serie A last season in Group F as they seek to get past the group stage for the 14th season in a row.

Manchester City will play last season's winners, Bayern Munich, in Group D, as well as CSKA Moscow and Czech side Viktoria Plzen as they look to reach the knockout stage for the first time.

Barclays Premier League champions Manchester United, for whom David Moyes will be managing in the competition for the first time, will play Shakhtar Donetsk, the Ukraine champions, Bayer Leverkusen, who finished third in the Bundesliga and Real Sociedad, who qualified via the play-offs.

For Jose Mourinho to become the first manager to guide three different clubs to UEFA Champion League success with Chelsea, after taking Inter Milan and Porto to the title, he must first steer his team out of a group containing Schalke, Basel and Steaua Bucharest.

UEFA Champions League group stage draw

Group A
MANCHESTER UNITED
, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Sociedad.

Group B
Real Madrid, Juventus, Galatasaray, Copenhagen.

Group C
Benfica, Paris St Germain, Olympiakos, Anderlecht.

Group D
Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, MANCHESTER CITY, Viktoria Plzen.

Group E
CHELSEA
, Schalke, Basel, Steaua Bucharest.

Group F
ARSENAL
, Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli.

Group G
Porto, Atletico Madrid, Zenit St Petersburg, Austria Vienna.

Group H
Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax, Celtic.

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Key Points

  • Arsenal handed tough UEFA Champions League draw against Marseille, Dortmund and Napoli
  • Man City to face champions Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen
  • Man Utd to play Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen and Real Socieded and Chelsea to face Schalke, Basel and Steaua Bucharest