Uefa Champions League: Liverpool in Group of Death as Messi Faces Guardiola

Uefa Champions League: Liverpool in Group of Death as Messi Faces Guardiola

Six times FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi will face former coach Pep Guardiola as Premier League champions Manchester City have been drawn to face Paris St-Germain in the Champions League group stage.

With PSG in the same group, Lionel Messi could face Manchester City for a seventh time in the Champions League – the Argentine has scored more goals against City than any other player in the competition (six goals in six games).
The other teams in the group are German Bundesliga runners up RB Leipzig and Belgian outfit Club Bruges.

Holders Chelsea come up against Serie A giants Juventus, Russian club Zenit St Petersburg and Swedish side Malmo.
Manchester United face Villarreal, who beat them in last season’s Europa League final, as well as Italian club Atalanta and Swiss side Young Boys.

Liverpool are in a tough group with Spanish La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, Porto and AC Milan.

Pep Guardiola’s City side, who were beaten by Chelsea last season in their maiden final in the competition, face a brace of tantalising Group A meetings with Lionel Messi’s new club PSG.

Those matches could see a reunion for Messi with old foe Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been heavily linked with a move to City from Juventus before transfer deadline day.

The two sides meet in the competition for the second consecutive season after last season’s semi-final showdown, which City won 4-1 on aggregate.

Jurgen Klopp’s six-time winners Liverpool are arguably in this season’s hardest group, along with La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, Portuguese club Porto – winners in 1987 and 2004 – and seven-time European champions AC Milan.

Liverpool beat Milan in the famous 2005 final in Istanbul, but the Italians gained revenge in Athens two years later.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be much happier with Manchester United’s chances of progression from Group F, having been knocked out in the group stage last season.

The Red Devils will be aiming to take revenge on Unai Emery’s Villarreal, who beat them on penalties in the Europa League final last season.

The toughest task for Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side will be negotiating home and away meetings with Juventus, while the defending champions should have few problems against Zenit and Malmo.

This year’s Champions League final takes place at the St Petersburg Stadium in Russia on Saturday, 28 May.

Group stage draw in full:
Group A: Manchester City, Paris St-Germain, RB Leipzig, Club Bruges
Group B: Atletico Madrid (Spain), Liverpool (England), Porto (Portugal), AC Milan (Italy)
Group C: Sporting Lisbon (Portugal), Borussia Dortmund (Germany), Ajax (Netherlands), Besiktas (Turkey)
Group D: Inter Milan (Italy), Real Madrid (Spain), Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine), Sheriff Tiraspol (Moldova)
Group E: Bayern Munich (Germany), Barcelona (Spain), Benfica (Portugal), Dynamo Kyiv (Ukraine)
Group F: Villarreal (Spain), Manchester United (England), Atalanta (Italy), Young Boys (Switzerland)
Group G: Lille (France), Sevilla (Spain), FC Salzburg (Austria), Wolfsburg (Germany)
Group H: Chelsea (England), Juventus (Italy), Zenit St Petersburg (Russia), Malmo (Sweden)