Manchester United will face the Bayern Munich of Harry Kane in this season’s Champions League while Thursday’s draw for the group stage also placed Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle United together.
Bayern and United will be favourites to advance from Group A which also includes Danish champions FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray, the Turkish champions.
Group F, in contrast, looks to be the toughest of all with Saudi-owned Newcastle facing AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund as well as Qatar-backed PSG.
Newcastle are appearing in the Champions League for the first time in 20 years and their lack of recent pedigree in Europe’s elite club competition meant they were left lurking dangerously among the sides in pot four for the draw.
Having held on to Kylian Mbappe, French champions PSG will be expected to advance to the last 16 but Newcastle will hope to finish ahead of Dortmund and a Milan team that got to the semi-finals last season.
Holders Manchester City, meanwhile, could hardly have asked for a kinder draw as they will take on RB Leipzig, Red Star Belgrade and Young Boys in Group G.
Pep Guardiola’s side can be expected to rack up the goals against the champions of Serbia and Switzerland, while City hammered Leipzig 8-1 on aggregate in the last 16 last season.
Back in the Champions League for the first time since 2016/17, Arsenal will face Europa League winners Sevilla, former European Cup winners PSV Eindhoven and Lens of France in Group B.
Real Madrid, the record 14-time champions who won the trophy in 2022, were drawn with Italian champions Napoli in Group C, which also features Braga of Portugal and Champions League debutants Union Berlin.
Barcelona will take on Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and Royal Antwerp of Belgium in Group H.
Last season’s runners-up Inter Milan are in Group D with Portuguese champions Benfica, Red Bull Salzburg and Real Sociedad of Spain.
Scottish champions Celtic will face Feyenoord, Atletico Madrid and Lazio in Group E.
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