THE BLOG

UEFA Champions League

01/09/2014 16:22 BST | Updated 01/11/2014 09:59 GMT

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It's back - the greatest club competition on the planet and the 2014/15 season promises to be one of the most exciting yet.

With Barcelona and Real Madrid each holding some of the most impressive offensive line-ups held in world football it's hard to look too far past these two when considering who we may be watching in the Berlin final next May.

But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet... the draw for the group stages has just taken place and the excitement surrounding how the English clubs will fare this season is paramount. Let's take a look at who they'll be up against...

Group B:-

Liverpool will feel cautiously optimistic on their return to Europe's elite competition. Real Madrid are the stand out opponents in this group. Liverpool will go in to all of these ties with their renowned optimism but shouldn't expect to win the group, they should be pleased to qualify. If they pick up any points against Real Madrid it will be a bonus. They also face FC Basel & Ludogretz

Group D:-

Arsenal may have scraped through by a single goal in the qualifying stages against Besiktas but going in to their 17th consecutive Champions League campaign should inspire them with confidence. They have another difficult trip to Turkey to face Galatasary. Despite having the European heavy weights of Borussia Dortmund in their group they will be inspired by their record of qualifying through every group stage since the turn of the millennium.

Group E:-

Man City have been thrown truly into the deep end this year. They already have the disadvantage of having to choose their players from a smaller squad and to make matters worse they've been put in a group with European giants Bayern Munich and AS Roma. They also have to make the long distance journey to Moscow to play CSKA. That being said Man City have undoubtedly one of the strongest teams in the competition, and despite struggling to find their best performances in Europe just yet there should be enough belief in their team that they are strong enough to qualify to the knockout stages.

Group F:-

Chelsea will take great strength from their performances against Schalke in last year's group stages. They comfortably took all 6 points in their meetings, scoring 6 goals in the process. Chelsea will fear the Portuguese Sporting Lisbon side the most, but with the final addition of the Slovenian NK Maribor they should have no worries about not qualifying through group F.

I had the privilege of speaking to Chelsea's Andre Shürrler this week who assured me he was confident that Chelsea could win the Champions League... but that was moments before the draw.

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