Man City to face Barca in Champions League group stages

As the 2016/17 Champions League draw is completed, the depth of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City squad will be tested almost immediately as the Catalan faces his former cub FC Barcelona in the group stages.

Placed in Group C, the Citizens will also face Scottish champions Celtic and Borussia Monchengladbach in the other group fixtures.

Manchester City had face Barca in the last sixteen in two of their last three Champions League campaigns. They were eliminated from the tournament by Luis Enrique’s team on both occasions.

In group D, last year’s semi-finalist Bayern Munich will face a rematch against Atletico Madrid. The latter had defeated the Bundesliga giants across two semi-final matches before losing to neighbours Real Madrid on penalties, as Los Blancos became European champions for the 11th time.

Zinedine Zidane’s men would have a relatively easier time as they face Bundesliga runners-up Borussia Dortmund, Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon and Poland’s Legia Warsaw.

Premier League champions Leicester City also faces less challenging opponents, as they take on Porto, Club Brugge and Copenhagen in their Champions League debut.

“Now the teams have been drawn that excitement is building even more and, although it won’t be easy against great champions like Porto, like everyone, I’m curious to see how my players perform,” Foxes manager Claudio Ranieri said.

He also added cautiously: “Once again I say we are underdogs. For this reason we must fight for everything.”

“I want to see my players fight against the best in Europe. Last season was wonderful but I want more. Now we are in the Champions League and we have another wonderful opportunity to show our quality. We know we have three tough away games but, when we arrive at our stadium, that is when I know we can show something special.”

Premier League runners-up Tottenham will also have a good chance of reaching the last 16 after being drawn into the same group with CSKA Moscow, Bayer Leverkusen and Monaco.

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