Manchester City await possible Champions League Group of Death : update – Avoided

City could face the very best in the Champions League Group stages

The word death as part of a footballing metaphor in this instance is slightly misleading. Savagery, slaughter and brutal annihilation would probably be more accurate. The elite of European football are awaiting their fate in this season’s Champions League this afternoon, with the draw for the group stages set to take place in Monaco in just over an hour’s time. And debutants Manchester City find themselves in Pot 3, lining up the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and AC Milan as potential opponents. Good news for those hoping to see Roberto Mancini’s men flop like a jelly on a wet mattress perhaps? As a third seed, City will certainly have their work cut out for them and there are likely to be many out there who would take great pleasure in witnessing the big-spending Blue mob ripped apart by Europe’s finest in their first ever Champions League campaign.

Unfortunately, they’re not likely to be turned over. At least not easily. It’ll be bad news for any of the first and second seeds hoping for an easy run who draw City. Given the size and strength of Mancini’s squad, they’re likely to be a threat to anyone, or will at least be stubborn  and difficult for the footballing sides to break down. But the City boss will certainly do his homework, and unlike most of the Sky Sports pundits, will know one or two things already about continental footballers and how football is played outside the Premier League (AKA the Best League In the World by Souness & co., because it’s the one we watch).

But no question, having City involved, especially in Pot 3, makes for an exciting draw. Picture this as a Champions League group:

Barcelona – Cup holders and Spanish Champions
AC Milan – Italian Champions and seven-time European Champions
Manchester City – Manchester City
Borussia Dortmund – German Champions and 1997 European Champions

Spicy.

 

Pots for this evening’s draw

Pot one – Manchester United, Barcelona, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Porto, Internatzionale.

Pot two – Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon, Villarreal, AC Milan, Valencia, Marseille, CSKA Moscow, Benfica.

Pot three – Zenit St Petersburg, Manchester City, Olympiacos, Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen, BATE Borisov, Basle, Lille.

Pot four – Borussia Dortmund, Trabzonspor, Dinamo Zagreb, Napoli, APOEL Tel Aviv, Genk, Otelul Galati, Viktoria Plzen.

 

Update:

The actual draw for the Champions League looks like this:

Group A
FC Bayern München (GER)
Villarreal CF (ESP)
Manchester City FC (ENG)
SSC Napoli (ITA)

Group B
FC Internazionale Milano (ITA)
PFC CSKA Moskva (RUS)
LOSC Lille Métropole (FRA)
Trabzonspor AŞ (TUR)

Group C
Manchester United FC (ENG)
SL Benfica (POR)
FC Basel 1893 (SUI)
FC Oţelul Galaţi (ROU)

Group D
Real Madrid CF (ESP)
Olympique Lyonnais (FRA)
AFC Ajax (NED)
GNK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)

Group E
Chelsea FC (ENG)
Valencia CF (ESP)
Bayer 04 Leverkusen (GER)
KRC Genk (BEL)

Group F
Arsenal FC (ENG)
Olympique de Marseille (FRA)
Olympiacos FC (GRE)
Borussia Dortmund (GER)

Group G
FC Porto (POR)
FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
FC Zenit St Petersburg (RUS)
APOEL FC (CYP)

Group H
FC Barcelona (ESP)
AC Milan (ITA)
FC BATE Borisov (BLR)
FC Viktoria Plzeň (CZE)

 

Mancini's boys will give anyone a tough game