MONTE CARLO: Liverpool and Manchester City will be delighted with their group stage draws in the Champions League, with Tottenham and Chelsea handed slightly tougher assignments but still groups they’ll fancy getting out of.

Defending champions Liverpool are looking to make it three finals in a row and a seventh title and will face a familiar foe in Italian side Napoli, who were also in the same group as the Reds last season.

In fact, Napoli came close to dumping Jurgen Klopp’s side out at Anfield in the final group game but for a fantastic late save from Alisson Becker to help send Liverpool through to eventually pick up a sixth European Cup.

Klopp will fancy topping the group that also contains Swiss side FC Salzburg and new Belgian champions Genk.

City are looking to finally climb the European mountain under Pep Guardiola and they should make serene progress given they’ve been drawn with Ukrainian Shakhtar Donetsk, Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb and Champions League debutants Atalanta from Serie A.

Last year’s runners-up Tottenham face a tough test against German giants Bayern Munich along with Greek side Olympiakos and Crvena Zvezda – who beat Liverpool at home in last season’s group stage.

Frank Lampard’s Chelsea face semi-finalists Ajax, who had to come through qualifying this season, along with Spaniards Valencia and French side Lille.

Barcelona face a tough test in Group F as they line up against Germans Borussia Dortmund, Antonio Conte, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez at Inter Milan and Slavia Prague.

Another group that stands out is Group D where Juventus and Atletico Madrid renew rivalries from last season and also take on Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moscow.

Champions League group stage draw…

Group A: PSG, Real Madrid, Club Brugge, Galatasaray

Group B: Bayern Munich, Tottenham, Olympiakos, Crvena Zvezda

Group C: Man City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb, Atalanta

Group D: Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Moscow

Group E: Liverpool, Napoli, FC Salzburg, Genk

Group F: Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, Slavia Prague

Group G: Zenit St Petersburg, Benfica, Lyon, RB Leipzig

Group H: Chelsea, Ajax, Valencia, Lille

Champions League group stage fixture dates

  • Matchday 1: Sep. 17-18
  • Matchday 2: Oct. 1-2
  • Matchday 3: Oct. 22-23
  • Matchday 4: Nov. 5-6
  • Matchday 5: Nov. 26-27
  • Matchday 6: Dec. 10-11
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