UEFA Champions League group stage predictions

The groups of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season were made known on Thursday night in Monaco

Real Madrid are the champions and won the last three editions whereas the Final will be played in Madrid at Atletico Madrid stadium at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Pep Guardiola will begin his latest attempt to win the European title with Manchester City in Group F where they will be the favourites against Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk, Olympique Lyonnais and debutants Hoffenheim.

"There will be a lot of passion around our matches in this group with Napoli, Liverpool and Red Star". Cup holders Real Madrid face AS Roma, CSKA Moscow and Victoria Plzen.

Spare a thought for the Swiss champions, who after fighting their way through a tough playoff against Dinamo Zagreb to reach the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in their history, were rewarded with a place in Group H against Juventus, Manchester United and Valencia.

With Lokomotiv Moscow coming out of Pot 1, Porto out of Pot 2 and Schalke out of Pot 3 you can safely deduce that all the teams remaining in Pot 4 would be desperate for Diego Forlan to call out their name.

"It's a very tough group but the most important thing for us is that we have managed to get into the group stage and compete at this level", Red Star president Svetozar Mijailovic told reporters.

Brendan Rodgers: You have to defend properly and we didn't
Celtic drop into the Europa League play-off round, where they will face Latvia's Spartaks Jurmala or Suduva Marijampole of Lithuania.

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Tottenham have shown they can overcome the best, just look at last season when they topped their group ahead of Real Madrid so they are clearly not to be overlooked. After meeting with the Germans, the locals will have to stay in Lyon, then the miners have two games with Manchester city, to be followed by a trip to Hoffenheim.

Three more former European champions Bayern Munich, Benfica, Ajax, are together with underdogs AEK Athens in Group E. Who even remembers that Real Madrid actually came through last season's group of death, such is the lack of life and danger in this round for Europe's super-clubs?

Ronaldo, who was his Real Madrid team mate last season and has now joined Juventus was second, with Liverpool and Egypt forward Salah third.

With the FIFA Golden Ball award and now the UEFA player of the year, Luka Modric is currently living the best time of his career.

"This year I can say is the best year of my career, collectively and individually. We are getting close but we want to be closer than last season and we want to be there".

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