Real Madrid land kind draw, Barca not as lucky as clubs learn UEFA Champions League group stage foes

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid alongside Lionel Messi of Barcelona

By CARL SETTERLUND

Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League title defense is off a to favorable start.

The 2014 UEFA Champions League group stage draw was held in Monaco on Thursday, and Real Madrid were given a kind draw as they were paired with Liverpool, FC Basel and Ludogorets in Group B. The reigning European champions luckily avoided some of the more talented opponents in the 32-team tournament, but fellow Spanish club Barcelona were not as fortunate.

Barcelona fell into a competitive Group F in which there will be little room for error, as it is also comprised of French giants Paris Saint-Germain, Dutch powerhouse Ajax and Cyprus champions APOEL. Another tough group vying for the “Group of Death” title was Group E, which consists of Bayern Munich, Manchester City, AS Roma and CSKA Moscow.

Group D is perhaps the most balanced one in this season’s competition, with Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Galatasary and Anderlecht all drawn into it.

Here are the complete results of the draw:

Group A:
Atletico Madrid
Juventus
Olympiakos
Malmo

Group B:
Real Madrid
FC Basel
Liverpool
Ludogorets

Group C:
Benfica
Zenit St. Petersburg
Bayer Leverkusen
AS Monaco

Group D:
Arsenal
Borussia Dortmund
Galatasaray
Anderlecht

Group E:
Bayern Munich
Manchester City
CSKA Moscow
AS Roma

Group F:
Barcelona
Paris Saint-Germain
Ajax
APOEL

Group G:
Chelsea
Schalke
Sporting Lisbon
Maribor

Group H:
Porto
Shakhtar Donetsk
Athletic Bilbao
BATE


What are your thoughts on the draw? Which group is the proverbial “Group of Death”? Which clubs ended up with a favorable draw and which have he toughest road?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, UEFA Champions League. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Real Madrid land kind draw, Barca not as lucky as clubs learn UEFA Champions League group stage foes

  1. slowleftarm says:

    There are definitely some tough groups here but generally the big boys will get through. I don’t agree with Arsene Wenger too often but I agree with him that the old second group stage, which they had before 2004 or so, was more entertaining. That had to go though because of fixture pile up.

  2. Ivan says:

    The Bulgarians, Ludogorets, got a dream draw (or a nightmare draw, depending on the prospective) as they get to play at the Bernabeu and at Anfield…

  3. Lost in Space says:

    Group E & F should have some very good games to watch. 3 teams in each that will be pushing for advancment and 1 wipping boy.

    • Mark from LA says:

      don’t agree with you in group F, Ajax has little chance against Barc. and PSG. But fun fixtures in Amsterdam, for sure.

      Bayern and Man City in E is a lock.

      • Increase says:

        Ajax beat Barca in Spain last year and they beat Man City the year before that.

        I don’t know that they will succeed but I don’t think its hopeless.

  4. Josh D says:

    Green has the group of death – again. Is he cursed when it comes to group draws?

    • slowleftarm says:

      Wasn’t aware that Bayern Munich II was in the Champions League.

      • Eurosnob says:

        Dude, Green is part of Bayern’s first team this season and was in the 18 who dressed up for their first Bundesliga game. He is no longer with BMII. You should start following Bundesliga more closely.

        • THomas says:

          He only follows ‘true’ Americans

        • slowleftarm says:

          I agree with you that I need to follow the Bundesliga more closely.

          I missed that Green was in the 18. He is also listed with BMII:

          link to fcbayern.de

          Anyway, I’d love to start watching more Bundesliga but I don’t get GolTV. Looking forward to Bundesliga on Fox starting next season.

          • Eurosnob says:

            Wow, Bayern’s website lists him with both youth team and the first team – so much for German’s attention to details, lol. I agree with you that it would be nice to have Bundesliga moved to a more widely available channel. I hate that La Liga is on BeIN, which is available from my provider, but at a hefty premium.

            • shaggie96 says:

              I believe you can subscribe to BeIN online for $10/mo. I’ve read a couple of things about it, but I’m not 100% sure.

              • Gill King says:

                I have Time Warner. I pay @$10/mo extra for a sports tier that includes all the Fox Soccer channels and beIN in both English and Spanish. The NBC and CBS sports networks and all of the ESPN’s. I get the rest of the LA area Spanish channels also. The only one I don’t get is GOLtv. That cost another premium that I won’t pay. Regardless, well worth the money and those channels keeps my dvr working full time lol..

    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US says:

      LOL.

      I don’t normally like jokes at American soccer players expense, but that was pretty funny.

    • Double says:

      Some people just like to say “group of death” I guess it makes them feel like they know what they’re talking about.

    • bryan says:

      to be fair to him, he wasn’t even a US player when the WC draw happened. but this is not a good sign for next go-around…

  5. Atletico Man says:

    I don’t mind the draw at all. Group E is the only one where a first-class team will go out early. C, D, and H are fairly balanced and shoud be competative. It is not like there are a bunch of bad teams here – most of them will play entertaining football. Barca and Chelsea will get through (as log as Barca finds a back line that holds water). The issue with Real is, once again, whether they can learn to play as a team. And of course, ¡aupa atleti!

  6. AcidBurn says:

    So how did Manchester United do in the draw? I can’t seem to find them there.

    • RB says:

      Heh heh

    • TheSoccerDude says:

      They got a “bye,” but LVG thought that meant “buy.” So they will get by somehow.

      • AcidBurn says:

        LVG told the Champions League admin that his team would need at least 3 months to figure things out, so they come in at the round of 16.

        That makes sense. I mean, why would LVG play these prelim games anyway.

  7. RB says:

    Sorry to see the previous report and discussion here axed. Still don’t see how they came up with some teams in some of these pots, looking at the coefficient ranking that’s supposed to determine that: link to uefa.com

    • Increase says:

      Huh, ya. That article seems to be gone. I do find it odd as well and I still don’t understand the inconsistencies.

      Some make sense like Roma being in pot 4. None of the major media outlets find it weird so there must be something were missing. I do know that each team has a league coefficient applied to it. I can only assume that the league coefficient is applied on top of that number and not displayed in that chart.

      • slowleftarm says:

        It’s based solely on performance in Europe over the past five years – 80% the individual club’s performance and 20% their country’s clubs’ performances. Roma wasn’t even in Europe the past two seasons and hasn’t done much over the past five. Plus Serie A clubs haven’t been that great either in recent years. So there you go.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        That’s why Man City were in pot 2 while clubs that finished below them in the EPL, Chelsea and Arsenal, were in pot 1. Chelsea and Arsenal have had more success in Europe than Man City.

        • Increase says:

          Ahh, the 20% thing is the key. Now it makes sense.

        • RB says:

          Yes but that still doesn’t seem to explain it, I’m afraid (as I was noting in the other discussion).

          Take a look: link to uefa.com

          Schalke is 9th and Porto is 11th, yet Schalke was in pot 2 and Porto was in pot 1.

          • RB says:

            That is to say, the UEFA link starts out and says

            “The club coefficient rankings are based on the results of clubs competing in the five previous seasons of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. The rankings determine the seeding of each club in all UEFA competition draws.”

            So they’re saying that the rankings shown already have taken into account whatever they think needs to be taken into account in order to proceed with the draws. In other words, the ranking should be followed and they should not still be jumping it around based on an extra 20% this or that anything.

  8. THomas says:

    Is it just me but do Arsenal & Dortmund always seem to run into eachother at one stage or another?