Champions League: Arsenal handed nightmare draw

Face of concern: Arsenal were handed Dortmund and Napoli

Arsenal's pot one seeding did little for them as they were drawn with Borussia Dortmund and Napoli, while Chelsea should breeze through their group...

"Arsenal's odds on winning the Champions League this season drifted from 28.027/1 out to 32.031/1 as they were handed a group containing last year's finalists Borussia Dortmund along with Napoli and Marseille."

Arsenal's odds on winning the Champions League this season drifted from 28.027/1 out to 32.031/1 as they were handed a group containing last year's finalists Borussia Dortmund along with Napoli and Marseille.

Having drawn Marseille from pot two, Arsenal looked set for a relatively risk-free passage to the last 16 for the 14th time in a row, but they were given the hardest team from both pots three and four.

Rafa Benitez will return to London with the Italian side, bringing one-time Arsenal target Gonzalo Higuain with him, while Dortmund's litany of stars make a mockery of their lowly UEFA coefficient.

Chelsea were the given the plum draw compared to the other English sides, and their odds to win the tournament subsequently shortened from 13.012/1 to 10.5.

The Blues will play Basel and Steaua Bucharest, two teams they beat en route to winning the Europa League last season, along with German side Schalke.

After their nightmare groups in the past two seasons, Manchester City face an easier route to the knockout rounds this year, although they will still have to meet current champions Bayern Munich alongside CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen.

Bayern are 5.04/1 to retain the trophy, while City are 18.5 to win the tournament.

Manchester United's odds drifted slightly from 15.5 to 16.015/1 after they were drawn along with Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen and Real Sociedad.

Shakhtar qualified from their group ahead of Chelsea last season, while Real Sociedad were impressive in their 4-0 aggregate win over Lyon in the play-off round.

Celtic's already long odds of 550.0549/1 drifted to 810.0809/1 after they emerged from pot four to find themselves matched up against Barcelona, AC Milan and Ajax.

Neil Lennon's side beat Barcelona in the group stage last season, and will hope to recreate the same atmosphere at Parkhead that pushed them through that game and their recent 3-2 win in the play-offs against Shakhter Karagandy.

The pick of the other groups sees Real Madrid drawn with Juventus, Galatasaray and Copenhagen, while Paris St-Germain's odds came in from 23.022/1 to 18.5 after they were handed Benfica, Olympiakos and Anderlecht.

Group A: Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Sociedad
Group B: Real Madrid, Juventus, Galatasaray, Copenhagen
Group C: Benfica, PSG, 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, Austria Vienna
Group H: Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax, Celtic

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open account using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn We'll Refund You £/€20 If the Bet Loses
Bet now

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles