Bayern to face City, tough test lies ahead for Arsenal
By Andy Scott ,AFPPARIS -- Reigning European champions Bayern Munich were paired with Manchester City for this season's Champions League group stage, while the draw was particularly unkind for Arsenal and Celtic.
August 31, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
The draw, made in Monaco on Thursday evening, threw up several mouthwatering ties as well as bringing together plenty of familiar foes.
Under Pep Guardiola, Bayern are looking to become the first club to retain the European Cup in the Champions League era.
They were drawn in Group D along with Manchester City, the Premier League giants who previously faced the Bavarians in the 2011-12 competition.
On that occasion, City finished bottom of their section while Bayern went all the way to the final, and Roberto Mancini's side also failed to progress from their group last season.
This time, though, City are expected to pose a greater threat under Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini, who has taken Villarreal and Malaga to the latter stages in the past and came up against Guardiola's Barcelona when in charge of Real Madrid in 2009-10.
Those two clubs are likely to fight it out for first place in a group that also contains Russian champions CSKA Moscow and Czech club Viktoria Plzen.
The draw was even kinder to 2012 European champions Chelsea. The Blues will face Bundesliga club Schalke, 1986 European Cup winners Steaua Bucharest and FC Basel, who lost to Chelsea in the Europa League semi-finals last season, in Group E.