Lewandowski gets Bayern return in Champions League draw

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Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski

Bayern Munich and Barcelona will lock horns in this year’s Champions League group stage.

The two European giants — who have lifted the famous trophy a whopping 11 times between them — are joined by Inter Milan and Viktoria Plzen in a mouth-watering Group C.

All eyes are sure to be on veteran forward Robert Lewandowski, who swapped Bavaria for Barcelona only this summer having netted over 300 career goals for the Bundesliga powerhouses between 2014 and 2022.

Meanwhile, holders Real Madrid will begin their defence against RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk and Celtic in Group F.

Los Blancos defeated Liverpool 1-0 in last season’s final and the Reds find themselves in a potentially challenging Group A alongside Ajax, Napoli and Rangers.

Elsewhere, Manchester City’s capture of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund grabbed the headlines this summer and the Norwegian has been handed a quick return to his former club.

The Bundesliga outfit join the English champions in Group G alongside Sevilla and FC Copenhagen.

Tottenham will be encouraged by their draw with Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt, Portuguese outfit Sporting and Marseille in store in Group D.

Chelsea face a stiffer task with reigning Italian champions AC Milan alongside them in Group E, though they will hope to pip FC Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb to qualification.

Paris Saint-Germain face a tough start in their latest tilt at a maiden crown with Juventus, Benfica and Maccabi Haifa making up Group H, while Atletico Madrid, Porto, Bayer Leverkusen and Club Brugge do battle in an open Group B.

Group A

Ajax, Liverpool, Napoli, Rangers

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Group B

Porto, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Club Brugge

Group C

Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Viktoria Plzen

Group D

Eintracht Frankfurt, Tottenham, Sporting, Marseille

Group E

AC Milan, Chelsea, FC Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb

Group F

Real Madrid, RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk, Celtic

Group G

Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, FC Copenhagen

Group H

Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Benfica, Maccabi Haifa

When will the Champions League group stage take place?

Each group will see the four teams play each other home and away, making for six matchdays.

The action gets going with Matchday 1 for Groups A-D on Tuesday, September 6, with teams from Groups E-H kicking off their campaigns a day later.

Due the World Cup taking place later this year, the group stage concludes at a slightly earlier date of Wednesday, November 2.

Key dates for your diary

Matchday 1: 6/7 September

Matchday 2: 13/14 September

Matchday 3: 4/5 October

Matchday 4: 11/12 October

Matchday 5: 25/26 October

Matchday 6: 1/2 November

Did you know?

Liverpool have never previously faced Rangers in any competitive match.

Antonio Conte will become the fourth manager to take charge of more than one English club in the Champions League after Rafael Benítez, Claudio Ranieri, and Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea have won just two of their last 11 Champions League matches against Italian clubs (three draws and six defeats).

Celtic will face Real Madrid for the first time in the Champions League, with their last meeting with Los Blancos in the 1979-80 European Cup.

Manchester City are competing in the Champions League for a 12th straight season, with only Real Madrid (26), Barcelona (19) and Bayern Munich (15) on longer current runs.

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Rangers have lost all four of their matches against Ajax in European competition — their worst 100% losing record against a side in Europe.

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