PSG, Dortmund, Milan, Newcastle in toughest ECL group


Paris St Germain will kick off their eternal quest for a maiden Champions League trophy in the obligatory 'group of death' featuring Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan and Newcastle United following the draw in Monaco.

PSG, Milan and Dortmund have crossed paths on multiple occasions in Europe's elite competition, but it is the toughest possible welcome back to the Champions League for Newcastle, who will be playing in the tournament for the first time in 20 years.

"Our group is certainly the most difficult... But we accept it. We are up against three absolute top opponents," Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke told the club's website after Thursday's draw.

"To survive in this group, you need exceptional performances, and that's exactly what we're hoping for from our team."

Holders Manchester City, though, have been given an accommodating draw, taking on RB Leipzig, Red Star Belgrade and Young Boys.

City captured their first European crown this year and Pep Guardiola's side should have few problems in making the last 16, having handed Leipzig a 7-0 thrashing in last year's tournament.

Record 14-times winners Real Madrid will play Serie A champions Napoli, Braga and Union Berlin.

"It will be difficult. Napoli will be a tough opponent for sure. Braga and Union Berlin will be two very competitive teams," Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno said.

German heavyweights Bayern Munich, with harry Kane in their ranks, take on Manchester United, FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray.

United and Bayern have met 11 times in the Champions League, with perhaps their most memorable clash coming in the 1999 final, when the English side emerged victorious to complete the treble.

The clubs were also involved in the race to sign Kane in this transfer window, with the England striker opting to join the Bundesliga champions.

Last season's runners-up Inter Milan meet Benfica, RB Salzburg and Real Sociedad, while Europa League winners Sevilla have been drawn with Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven and RC Lens.

LaLiga champions Barcelona were handed a favourable draw, paired with Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and Royal Antwerp in Group H.

Group E is made up of Feyenoord, Atletico Madrid, Lazio and Celtic. Feyenoord and Celtic met in the 1970 final, which the Dutch side won 2-1 after extra time.

The Champions League group stage will begin on September 19 and conclude on December 13, with the knockout stages beginning in February, with the final taking place at London's Wembley Stadium in June.