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Top Table Campaign Begins With Intriguing Draw



Bayern Munich, Villareal and Napoli will be Manchester City's Group Stage opponents in The Blues first ever Champions League campaign.

It's an intriguing draw and one everybody across Planet Blue will absolutely relish.

Excitement has already reached fever pitch in and around town as Blues continue to strive to come to terms with the fact that this is all really happening!

From defeat at York City in December 1998 and our lowest ever English league position to qualifying for the Champions League Knock out Phase in December 2011...?

Group Stage Dates:

Matchday 1 13-14 September
Matchday 2 27-28 September
Matchday 3 18-19 October
Matchday 4 1-2 November
Matchday 5 22-23 November
Matchday 6 6-7 December

Dapper Citizens gaffer Roberto Mancini believes that everything is in place for resurgent City to mount a sustained European campaign:

'Rotating the squad is no problem for me...the problem is if you don't have good players. For the manager it is not easy because all the players want to play every game. But when you play in four competitions and have a match every three days, there is space for everyone. It is impossible to play a top game every three days. And the Champions League is very hard. It is different from the Europa League. For this we need a good team, with good players and a good mentality.'

Group Stage Draw In Full:

Group A: Bayern Munich, Villarreal, Manchester City, Napoli.

Group B: Inter, CSKA Moscow, Lille, Trabzonspor.

Group C: Manchester United, Benfica, FC Basel, Otelul Galati.

Group D: Real Madrid, Lyon, Ajax, Dinamo Zagreb.

Group E: Chelsea, Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen, Genk.

Group F: Arsenal, Marseille, Olympiakos, Borussia Dortmund.

Group G: FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit St. Petersburg, FC Apoel.

Group H: Barcelona, Milan, FC BATE Borisov, Viktoria Plzen.

copyright uefa

CARLING CUP THIRD ROUND DRAW:

Sa 27 August on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday

UPCOMING FIXTURES:
all times GMT+1

Su 28 Aug 13:30 Spurs, White Hart Lane, PL

Sa 10 Sep 15:00 Wigan, The Etihad, PL

13-14 September Champions League G Stage 1

Sa 17 Sep 15:00 Fulham, Craven Cottage, PL

Sa 24 Sep 12:45 Everton, The Etihad, PL

27-28 September Champions League G Stage 2

JOIN VITAL MANCHESTER CITY THIS SUMMER:

Join the debate in the VMC City Chat Forum as we gear up for next weekend's trip to Spurs!

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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday August 25 2011

Time: 5:33PM

Your Comments

Tough draw we got, but no where near as tough as Niteds... Still fancy us though!
HeavyRiffs
Tough draw we got, but no where near as tough as Niteds... Still fancy us though!
HeavyRiffs
Don't forget City will be away in the PL after each CL group game and the rags will be at home, fact fans! Ready Up!
Johnny Baguette
Don't forget City will be away in the PL after each CL group game and the rags will be at home, fact fans! Ready Up!
Johnny Baguette
Who moved United to the Europa League draw?
StuMCFC
Who moved United to the Europa League draw?
StuMCFC
My predictive text certainly isn't having Nited's last opponents. Sod it anyway, if do it the hard way we must, then do it the hard way we will!
HeavyRiffs
My predictive text certainly isn't having Nited's last opponents. Sod it anyway, if do it the hard way we must, then do it the hard way we will!
HeavyRiffs
Our group is tough but we can qualify, they will fear us more than we fear them. Man for man we have the best squad of all three but that hardly matters in the Champions League and Munich are definitely a revived force this season (already thrashed Hamburg 5-0). Napoli have the lethal Cavani/Lavezzi (unless we sign him!)/Hamsik trio, and of course Villarreal have quality like Rossi.
StuMCFC
Our group is tough but we can qualify, they will fear us more than we fear them. Man for man we have the best squad of all three but that hardly matters in the Champions League and Munich are definitely a revived force this season (already thrashed Hamburg 5-0). Napoli have the lethal Cavani/Lavezzi (unless we sign him!)/Hamsik trio, and of course Villarreal have quality like Rossi.
StuMCFC
Easy ;)
Bluedub
Easy ;)
Bluedub
Tough enough group but it could have been worse, Barcelona Milan Man City Dortmund
stevekally
Tough enough group but it could have been worse, Barcelona Milan Man City Dortmund
stevekally
If there were ever any hint of favoritism that takes place in "random" draws, this certainly proves it. We're away each game after a Champions League match, while the rags get the easiest group in the history of european competition and get home games after each match. Oh well, that will just make winning each competition sweeter.
PhillyBlueMoon
If there were ever any hint of favoritism that takes place in "random" draws, this certainly proves it. We're away each game after a Champions League match, while the rags get the easiest group in the history of european competition and get home games after each match. Oh well, that will just make winning each competition sweeter.
PhillyBlueMoon
Nice to not be represented in the studio. Wilkins. Yorke, Smith. Sky must really be missing Liverpool. *****s!
RobsonGreensleeves
Nice to not be represented in the studio. Wilkins. Yorke, Smith. Sky must really be missing Liverpool. *****s!
RobsonGreensleeves
Got to look after Fergies Babes and their average age of 22 ad nauseam, bollox to City's regularly average age of 23 eh?
Johnny Baguette
Got to look after Fergies Babes and their average age of 22 ad nauseam, bollox to City's regularly average age of 23 eh?
Johnny Baguette
was it Taggart that did the draw? that has to be the easiest passasge to the Knockout stages the rags have ever had.... but we will match em, you have to beat the good teams to win it....bring it on.
cityman51
was it Taggart that did the draw? that has to be the easiest passasge to the Knockout stages the rags have ever had.... but we will match em, you have to beat the good teams to win it....bring it on.
cityman51
Incredulously Sir Baconface insisted he met the top man at the BBC for er, assurances before he agreed to start talking to them again. Cue toe curling arslikhan on next MOTD.
Johnny Baguette
Incredulously Sir Baconface insisted he met the top man at the BBC for er, assurances before he agreed to start talking to them again. Cue toe curling arslikhan on next MOTD.
Johnny Baguette
Tough group, but could have been much worse. I think we've got enough to qualify for the knock-out stages, and truth be told, I'm pretty optimistic that we can win the group if we hit the ground running. Arsenal's group looks about as tough as ours, Chelsea's looks fairly straightforward, and well, I suspect the rags could play their youth team and win that group. Funny old game eh?
fifthcolumnblue
Tough group, but could have been much worse. I think we've got enough to qualify for the knock-out stages, and truth be told, I'm pretty optimistic that we can win the group if we hit the ground running. Arsenal's group looks about as tough as ours, Chelsea's looks fairly straightforward, and well, I suspect the rags could play their youth team and win that group. Funny old game eh?
fifthcolumnblue
 

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