Premier League champions Manchester City have been drawn to face Paris St-Germain, RB Leipzig and Club Bruges in the Champions League group stage.
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 Atletico Madrid, Porto and AC Milan.
Group stage draw in full:
Group A: Manchester City, Paris St-Germain, RB Leipzig, Club Bruges
Group B: Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Porto, AC Milan
Group C: Sporting Lisbon, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Besiktas
Group D: Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sheriff Tiraspol
Group E: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Benfica, Dynamo Kyiv
Group F: Villarreal, Manchester United, Atalanta, Young Boys
Group G: Lille, Sevilla, FC Salzburg, Wolfsburg
Group H: Chelsea, Juventus, Zenit St Petersburg, Malmo
This year’s Champions League final takes place at the St Petersburg Stadium in Russia on Saturday, 28 May.
Mixed draw for English clubs
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.
Bundesliga side RB Leipzig will also be a difficult proposition, having knocked out Manchester United in the group stage last season.
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.
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.
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.
Champions League stats
- Chelsea only lost one of their 13 Champions League matches last season, their quarter-final second leg at home to Porto, which they lost 1-0. They remained unbeaten in their seven matches played away from Stamford Bridge (W6 D1).
- In Champions League history, only one reigning champion has failed to progress from the initial group stage in the following season – that was Chelsea in 2012-13, who finished third in their group before lifting the Europa League that season.
- Of the 25 managers to have taken charge of at least 50 Champions League matches, Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola has the best win percentage (63% – 86/136).
- 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).
- Liverpool have progressed from 11 of their 14 previous Champions League group stage participations, including all four under current manager Jurgen Klopp
- Liverpool have won just one of their six meetings with Atletico Madrid in all European competition (D2 L3), losing home and away against them in 2019-20 as the Spanish side knocked them out in the last 16.
- Only Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich have played more Champions League matches than Manchester United (230), with the Red Devils one of just five sides to have 100 or more wins in the competition (121).
- The four Champions League meetings between Manchester United and Villarreal have produced no goals, the most played fixture in the history of the competition to see no goals scored.