FULL LIST: Bayern To Play Barcelona In Champions League, Liverpool Face Ajax

In this file photo, the UEFA Champions League trophy is displayed prior to the start of the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on May 28, 2022. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Bayern Munich were placed in the same section as Robert Lewandowski’s Barcelona in Thursday’s draw for the UEFA Champions League group stage in Istanbul, while Erling Haaland will face his former club as Manchester City were paired with Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern and Barcelona will also come up against Inter Milan in Group C, which is completed by the Czech champions Viktoria Plzen.

Bayern beat Barcelona 8-2 in a one-off quarter-final in Lisbon in 2020, while the Catalans also lost 3-0 twice to the Germans last season as they were eliminated in the group stage.

Lewandowski, 34, signed for Barcelona during the close season for a fee that could reach 50 million euros ($49.9m) after scoring 344 goals in eight years at Bayern.

“Only football writes such stories,” said Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

“Barcelona have got stronger. ‘Lewy’ is there. They’ve done a thing or two in the transfer market. There will be some exciting games.”

Haaland left Dortmund for Premier League champions City in the close season. Those sides will also face Sevilla and Danish champions FC Copenhagen in Group G.

City and Dortmund last met in the Champions League quarter-finals in 2021, with Pep Guardiola’s side advancing 4-2 on aggregate. City also beat Sevilla twice in the group stage in 2015/16.

 Liverpool Face Rangers

Last season’s beaten finalists Liverpool will play Ajax, Napoli and Rangers in Group A, while reigning champions Real Madrid will face Celtic as well as RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk in Group F.

It is the third season running in which Real and Shakhtar have been placed in the same group.

With war continuing to rage in Ukraine, Shakhtar will play their home games in the Polish capital Warsaw.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side faced Ajax in the group stage just two years ago, while the Anfield outfit came up against Napoli in 2019.

Meanwhile, Rangers are back in the group phase of Europe’s elite club competition for the first time in 12 years — in the 2010/11 season they held Manchester United to a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford but in 2012 they were demoted to the Scottish fourth tier when mounting debts forced them into liquidation.

After reaching last season’s Europa League final, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side knocked out PSV Eindhoven in the play-offs on Wednesday to reach the group stage.

“The first thing to say is this is a proper, proper challenge,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website.

“We did not ask for any favours and we have not been given any but this is not a competition where you can look for easy ways through because the standard is always unbelievably high.”

PSG Among Favourites, Again

Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain — who again start among the favourites to win a trophy that has continued to escape them since the Qatari takeover of more than a decade ago — will meet Juventus as well as Benfica and Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa in Group H.

Chelsea, winners in 2021, will take on Serie A champions AC Milan as well as Red Bull Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb in Group E, while Tottenham Hotspur will face last season’s Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt along with Sporting Lisbon and Marseille in Group D.

Porto and Atletico Madrid meet for the second season running in Group B, which also features Bayer Leverkusen and Belgian champions Club Brugge.

This season’s group stage will begin with the first round of games on September 6 and 7.

The match calendar is expected to be released following the draws on Friday for the group stages of the Europa League and Europa Conference League.

All six matchdays will be played in the space of nine weeks, finishing much earlier than usual on November 1 and 2, with UEFA needing to complete the group stage before the World Cup begins on November 20.

The final will be played on June 10 next year at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, which was supposed to host the final in 2020 and again in 2021 — on each occasion, UEFA moved the game to Portugal due to pandemic-related restrictions.

See the full features below: 

The draw for the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League group stage, made in Istanbul on Thursday:Group A: Ajax (NED), Liverpool (ENG), Napoli (ITA), Rangers (SCO)Group B: FC Porto (POR), Atletico Madrid (ESP), Bayer Leverkusen (GER), Club Brugge (BEL)

Group C: Bayern Munich (GER), Barcelona (ESP), Inter Milan (ITA), Viktoria Plzen (CZE)

Group D: Eintracht Frankfurt (GER), Tottenham Hotspur (ENG), Sporting (POR), Marseille (FRA)

Group E: AC Milan (ITA), Chelsea (ENG), Red Bull Salzburg (AUT), Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)

Group F: Real Madrid (ESP), RB Leipzig (GER), Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), Celtic (SCO)

Group G: Manchester City (ENG), Sevilla (ESP), Borussia Dortmund (GER), FC Copenhagen (DEN)

Group H: Paris Saint-Germain (FRA), Juventus (ITA), Benfica (POR), Maccabi Haifa (ISR)

Dates:

Matchday 1: September 6-7

Matchday 2: September 13-14

Matchday 3: October 4-5

Matchday 4: October 11-12

Matchday 5: October 25-26

Matchday 6: November 1-2

AFP

 

Real To Face City, Chelsea Drawn With Bayern In Champions League Last 16

The results are displayed on a screen at the end of the UEFA Champions League football cup round of 16 draw ceremony on December 16, 2019, in Nyon. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

 

 

Here is the full list of the Champions League last 16 draw made on Monday:

Borussia Dortmund (GER) v Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)

Real Madrid (ESP) v Manchester City (ENG)

Atalanta (ITA) v Valencia (ESP)

Atletico Madrid (ESP) v Liverpool (ENG)

Chelsea (ENG) v Bayern Munich (GER)

Lyon (FRA) v Juventus (ITA)

Tottenham Hotspur (ENG) v Leipzig (GER)

Napoli (ITA) v Barcelona (ESP)

— First legs to be played on February 18/19/25/26

— Second legs scheduled for March 10/11/17/18

AFP

Arsenal, Chelsea Draw Rennes, Dynamo Kiev In Europa League Last 16 Draw

The results of the draw for the Europa League round of sixteen is displayed on a screen, on February 22, 2019, at the headquarters of UEFA European football organization in Bern.
Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Arsenal will face French side Rennes in the last 16 of the Europa League, while Chelsea were paired with Dynamo Kiev in Friday’s draw.

Both Premier League clubs will be at home in the first leg on Thursday, March 7, with the return matches scheduled for March 14.

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Among the other ties, former European Cup finalists Eintracht Frankfurt were drawn against Inter Milan.

AFP

Serena Handed Tough Draw In Quest For Record 24th Slam

Serena Williams of the US plays a forehand shot during a practice session in Melbourne on January 10, 2019, ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament. ASANKA BRENDON RATNAYAKE / AFP

 

Serena Williams has been handed a challenging draw in her quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, starting with Germany’s Tatjana Maria in the first round.

The American, seeded 16, is gunning to match Margaret Court’s record of singles majors and claim an eighth Australian Open crown.

But Williams is in a tough half of the draw and could meet world number one Simona Halep in round four, and if she gets through that Karolina Pliskova in the last eight.

Before those potential ties, either Chinese wildcard Peng Shui or Canadian Eugenie Bouchard would await Williams in the second round.

Halep, who enters the tournament having played just one game in four months after a back injury, was handed a chance to avenge Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi, who beat her in the first round of the US Open in August.

If she comes through that dangerous opening showdown, she could meet Venus Williams in round three.

Defending champion and third seed Caroline Wozniacki starts against Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium and could meet 2008 champion Maria Sharapova in round three.

“Coming back as defending champion, it’s something I always dreamed of. I feel at home here. These courts are suited for me. I’m enjoying every minute,” said the Dane at Thursday’s draw, while paying tribute to Williams.

“Serena is the greatest player to have played the game. Her experiences have been a learning experience for me. It’s been fun though as well. She has a baby now! It’s amazing being back on tour so soon.”

The 2016 winner Angelique Kerber, seeded two, begins her draw against Slovenia’s Polona Hercog and could meet fifth seed Wozniacki in the semis.

Japan’s Naomi Osaka, the US Open champion, kicks off her tournament against Poland’s Magda Linette and is in line to meet Australia’s Daria Gavrilova round two.

AFP

Stanley Okoronkwo promises to shine against Liberia

With a late call-up by the Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi, Sharks midfielder; Stanley Okoronkwo has promised to shine for the Super Eagles of Nigeria saying even though it was an unexpected invitation, he is going to take his chances with the National Team also.

The Sharks Midfielder said he was surprised by the call which came across Monday as he was in Enugu when he was called that he has been selected to join National Team (Super Eagles) and he was very elated with the news as he joined his teammates at the national team today towards the preparation to face Liberia in a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on October 13.

Okoronkwo said his hard work has paid off because it I what he has long been praying for as he commented on the all-important match where by present standing Nigeria’s chances on claiming the ticket can go as low as playing a draw with Liberia.

The midfielder said the lone stars of Liberia are a good team judging by the score line of their last meet which is the first leg but he believes that Nigeria will claim the much desired ticket to proceed to the AFCON finals.

Nigeria will clash with the Lone Stars of Liberia on October 13 at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar with a victory guaranteeing the Super Eagles a place at the 2013 African Cup of Nations as Okoronkwo concluded that the mission of the Super Eagles is to get a desired result which will make Nigerians happy and the Super Eagles will do their best to make that happen come October 13th in Calabar.