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FootballNewsChampions League draw: Man Utd meet Rangers, plus the fates of Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham

Champions League draw: Man Utd meet Rangers, plus the fates of Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham

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By Pete Wilson

26 August 2010

The Champions League draw for the group stage has taken place in Switzerland, and not for first time Manchester United find themselves in a ‘Battle of Britain’ group with Rangers. In the 2003-04 season, United won 3-0 and 1-0 at this stage, but went only as far as losing in the last 16 to Jose Mourinho’s Porto. Porto, of course, won the Cup that season, so omen-hunters should be looking at Real Madrid winning the competition this season.

United and Rangers are in Group C this time, along with the Spanish financial basket-case that is Valencia, and Bursaspor of Turkey.

Tottenham have drawn the reigning champions, Inter, which means a quick return to British shores for Rafa Benitez. Also in Group A are Bremen and Twente.

Barcelona have what looks like a stroll ahead in Group D, with Panathinaikos, Copenhagen and Rubin. Then again, Rubin shocked them in the Nou Camp last season in the group stage, so frankly, who knows?

Chelsea are grouped with Marseille, the biggest spenders in France in the summer window. Spartak Moscow and Zilina make up that section.

Milan and Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid are paired in the same section, just like last year, when Real finished first and Milan second in the group. This time they’re joined by Ajax and Auxerre in a group where thrills, spills and special days are guaranteed. Milan have not spent much; Real a mere £80m or so.

Arsenal meet Shakhtar, Braga and Partizan in a section of long journeys.

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The groups in their entirety are:

GROUP A: Internazionale, Bremen, Tottenham, Twente

GROUP B: Lyon, Benfica, Schalke, H Tel Aviv

GROUP C: Man Utd, Valencia, Rangers, Bursaspor

GROUP D: Barcelona, Panathinaikos, Copenhagen, Rubin

GROUP E: Bayern Munich, Roma, Basel, Cluj

GROUP F: Chelsea, Marseille, Spartak Moscow, Zilina

GROUP G: Milan, Real Madrid, Ajax, Auxerre

GROUP H: Arsenal, Shakhtar, Braga, Partizan

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Colour key: Holders   –   British (underlined) –   Favourites     Second favourites

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