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Chelsea, Arsenal and United luck out

Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea both caught the best of it in yesterday afternoon’s Champions League draw, managing to avoid any of the big guns in their groups.

United were paired with German Champions Wolfsburg and Chelsea have dark horses Atletico Madrid, but all three sides should be confident of qualifying for the knock-out stage. Arsenal meanwhile have possibly the easiest group of all, with Olympiakos providing the sternest test in a group they should definitely be topping.

Liverpool however look to have a tough time of it, with a resurgent Lyon and the dangerous Fiorentina battling for the two qualification spots alongside them. Elsewhere Group A is interesting, with Bayern Munich – who have had a terrible start to the season – and a re-built Juventus paired alongside the French Champions Bordeaux.

‘We are looking to go one step further,’ said Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon. ‘So we have to get through this stage. Overall, there is not too much travel and we managed to avoid one of the big ones. We will all be reasonably pleased with the draw.

‘Pot four was the interesting one,’ said Manchester United chief executive David Gill. ‘And I think most teams would have preferred not to get the German champions, but overall we have got to be happy.’

  • Group A: Bayern Munich, Juventus, Bordeaux , Maccabi Haifa
  • Group B: Manchester United, CSKA Moscow, Besiktas, Wolfsburg
  • Group C: AC Milan, Real Madrid, Marseille, FC Zurich
  • Group D: Chelsea, Porto, Atletico Madrid, Apoel FC
  • Group E: Liverpool, Lyon, Fiorentina, Debreceni
  • Group F: Barcelona, Internazionale, Dynamo Kiev, FC Rubin Kazan
  • Group G: Sevilla, Rangers, VfB Stuttgart, Unirea Uriziceni
  • Group H: Arsenal, AZ Alkmaar, Olympiakos, Standard Liege

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