Champions League: Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea find out group-stage opponents

Jurgen Klopp lifts the Champions League trophy after beating Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid. Credit: PA

Liverpool face a tricky tie against SSC Napoli as they prepare to defend their Champions League title.

The draw, which took place in Monaco on Thursday evening, threw up some interesting ties for the English teams in Europe's premier football competition.

Last season's runners-up Tottenham face a difficult clash against German champions Bayern Munich, but they will fancy their chances of progressing after being drawn against Olympiacos FC and Red Star Belgrade.

Manchester City managed to avoid Europe's elite this year, having been given a kind draw against Ukraine's FC Shakhtar Donetsk, Croatia's GNK Dinamo Zagreb and Italy's Atalanta.

Wesley Sneijder holds up Liverpool's card during the Champions League draw. Credit: AP

Chelsea, who won last season's Europa League, face sterns tests against last season's semi-finalists Ajax, as well as games against European veterans Valencia CF and French runners-up Lille.

Away from the English interest, Group A promises to be an exciting affair, with record 13-times winners Real Madrid drawn against fellow European heavyweights Paris St-Germain in could prove to be the clash of the group stage.

Meanwhile in Group D, Italian champions Juventus will be up against former Champions League finalist Atletico Madrid.

FC Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan and Slavia Prague in Group F could prove to be the most difficult group to qualify from. Barcelona will certainly have a point to prove after being dumped out of the semi-finals last year having squandered a 3-0 lead against Liverpool.

  • Full group draw

Group AParis St-Germain,Real Madrid,Club Brugge KV,Galatasaray,

Group BBayern Munich,Tottenham,Olympiacos FC,Red Star Belgrade

Group CManchester City FC,FC Shakhtar Donetsk,GNK Dinamo Zagreb,Atalanta B.C

Group DJuventus,Atletico Madrid,Bayer Leverkusen,FC Lokomotiv Moscow

Group ELiverpool FC,SSC Napoli,FC Salzburg,KRC Genk

Group FFC Barcelona,Borussia Dortmund,Inter Milan,Slavia Prague

Group GZenit St Petersburg,S.L. Benfica,Olympique Lyonnais,RB Leipzig

Group HChelsea FC,Ajax,Valencia CF,LOSC Lille

Spurs were beaten in last season's Champions League final. Credit: PA
  • How did the draw work?

A total of 26 teams were drawn directly into the Champions League, while a further six joined them in Wednesday's play-off games.

The 32 teams in the draw were split into eight teams of four, with the top tier of traditional European superpowers together in pot one.

The top-ranked pot included last season's Champions League winners Liverpool, Europa League winners Chelsea, Barcelona, Manchester City, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Paris St-Germain and Zenit St Petersburg.

Lionel Messi was at the Champions League draw in Monaco. Credit: AP

The remaining teams were split into three pots, using the club coefficient ranking to order the groups.

No team from the same league can play against each other, meaning Spurs cannot be drawn against any of the other English teams.

This season's final is Saturday, May 30 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey.

It will be 15 years since the stadium previously held the Champions League final, when Liverpool famously fought from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan.

  • When are the Champions League group stage games?

There are six games in the Champions League group stages. Games are played on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Matchday one fixtures will take place on September 17 and 18.

October 1 and 2 will be matchday two.

October 22 and 23 will be matchday three.

November 5 and 6 will be matchday four.

November 26 and 27 will be matchday five.

December 10 and 11 will be matchday six.

The top two teams from each group will then progress onto the knock-out stages, which will be held in February.

The third place team from each group will then drop down into the Europa League, Uefa's second-tier European competition.

The match calendar takes place three hours after the draw ceremony.