Champions League draw: Heavyweight matchups across the board

The opening stage of the 2018-19 Champions League season is set, and there is more than one quartet that could be dubbed the Group of Death.

At the bottom of the draw, Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United’s Paul Pogba will return to their former clubs in a group completed by rejuvenated Spanish giants Valencia and Swiss minnows Young Boys.

Last term’s runners-up Liverpool were already dealt difficult assignments in Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli, and were then paired with Red Star Belgrade to round off Group C. The Serbians promise a fiery atmosphere on home soil, and also displayed their spirit in a come-from-behind away-goal victory at Red Bull Salzburg on Wednesday to reach the tournament proper.

Internazionale, possibly the toughest opponent in the final pot, were picked alongside Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur, and PSV Eindhoven, promising a tantalizing run of 12 matches in Group B.

The first tussles of the group stage will be held on Sept. 18. The other half of opening-round fixtures will be played a day later.

Group A

Pot Team Country
1 Atletico Madrid Spain
2 Borussia Dortmund Germany
3 AS Monaco France
4 Club Brugge Belgium

Group B

Pot Team Country
1 Barcelona Spain
2 Tottenham Hotspur England
3 PSV Eindhoven Netherlands
4 Internazionale Italy

Group C

Pot Team Country
1 Paris Saint-Germain France
2 Napoli Italy
3 Liverpool England
4 Red Star Belgrade Serbia

Group D

Pot Team Country
1 Lokomotiv Moscow Russia
2 FC Porto Portugal
3 FC Schalke Germany
4 Galatasaray Turkey

Group E

Pot Team Country
1 Bayern Munich Germany
2 Benfica Portugal
3 Ajax Netherlands
4 AEK Athens Greece

Group F

Pot Team Country
1 Manchester City England
2 Shakhtar Donetsk Ukraine
3 Olympique Lyonnais France
4 Hoffenheim Germany

Group G

Pot Team Country
1 Real Madrid Spain
2 AS Roma Italy
3 CSKA Moscow Russia
4 Viktoria Plzen Czech Republic

Group H

Pot Team Country
1 Juventus Italy
2 Manchester United England
3 Valencia Spain
4 Young Boys Switzerland

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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