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5 Champions League group stages matches you must not miss

Elvis Ume O
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
6.96K   //    31 Aug 2018, 11:24 IST

With all 32 participants in this season's Champions League confirmed after all the playoff rounds were completed, the draws for the group stage were held at a ceremony on Thursday, August 30 at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

The ceremony, which had dignitaries from the footballing community was conducted by legends of the game such as Kaka and Ronaldo de Lima. The event also saw the awarding of the UEFA Men's Best Player to Luka Modric, ending the four-year dominance by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League
Ronaldo would be returning to Manchester United

In the draws themselves, UEFA'S system of seeding sees the winners of the top six European leagues as well as the holders of the Champions League and Europa League placed as seeded teams in pot 1, while the remaining 24 teams fill out the last three pots in order of UEFA ranking.

It meant that traditional heavyweights such as Manchester United, Dortmund and Liverpool who were not seeded could potentially be placed with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The Champions League Group Stage draw in full

Group A | Atletico Madrid, Dortmund, AS Monaco, Club Brugge

Group B | Barcelona, Tottenham, PSV, Inter Milan

Group C | PSG, Napoli, Liverpool, Red Star Belgrade

Group D | Lokomotiv Moscow, Porto, Schalke, Galatasaray

Group E | Bayern, Benfica, Ajax, AEK Athens

Group F | Man City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon, Hoffenheim

Group G | Real Madrid, AS Roma, CSKA Moscow, Viktoria Plzen

Group H | Juventus, Man United, Valencia, Young Boys

As it was, that happened, and some exciting matchups are in store for us in this season's group stage, here are the five must-watch fixtures from the Champions League group stage.

Notable mentions: Atletico Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund, PSG vs Liverpool, AS Monaco vs Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid vs AS Roma

#5 PSG vs Napoli

ICC Singapore FC Bayern Press Conference
Carlo Ancelotti would be returning to his former club

Dates: First Leg- 24/10/2018 (Parc des Princes), Second Leg- 06/11/2018 (Estadio San Paolo)

What's the story? Carlo Ancelotti has history with PSG

Three time Champions League winning manager Carlo Ancelotti was unceremoniously fired by Bayern Munich in September of 2017, after losing control of his dressing room, but owing to the Italian's pedigree, it was only a matter of time before another top level club snapped him up.

His next appointment was announced in June of this year, as the replacement for Chelsea bound Maurizio Sarri at Napoli.

He would be tasked with building on from the gains the Pertenopei made under Sarri where they hassled Juventus all the way in the Scudetto race, although they eventually came up empty handed.

The 59-year-old would also attempt to make a mark in Europe, but his task has been made all the more difficult, after being handed what many believe to be the 'group of death'.

Napoli have been drawn together with last season's finalist Liverpool as well as French moneybags PSG and Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade, but it is the clash with the 'city of lovers' club which would be the most emotional for the Italian.

PSG were taken over by Qatar Sports investment in 211, instantly transforming the club's stature into one of the wealthiest in the world. The club announced Carlo Ancelotti as its new manager in December 2011, replacing Antoine Kombouare, and he guided them to a runners-up finish in the league.

The following season, Carlo laid the groundwork for the club's recent success, winning it its first Ligue 1 title in 19 seasons with two games to spare as well as reaching the quarter-final of all cup competitions they participated in.

With PSG very much the team to beat in the group owing to their impressive array of talent the club possesses, the fixture goes just beyond emotional attachment for Ancelotti, as his club could very well be playing for their destinies in this season's Champions League campaign.



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Elvis Ume O
ANALYST
Elvis is an avid football fan, who has followed the sport dedicatedly for over 15 years. His passion lies with the Super Eagles of Nigeria, while his all-time favorite player is Raul Gonzalez. He watches all football matches, but has a bias for international football. He understands that the end justifies the means in football, and results are all that matters, but prefers the results being gotten in an aesthetic manner. His writing reflects the way he lives his life, open-ended, with room for differing opinions. Other pastimes include reading and exploring the world. If you have a passion for the game like he does, connect with him across all platforms and share views.
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