Monte Carlo: Defending champion Manchester United will face British rival Celtic in the group stage of the Champions League. United will also meet Villarreal and Aalborg in the 32-team phase, which begins next month. We always love to draw the champion of Europe as we did last year (with FC Barcelona), Celtic striker Scott McDonald said. All of those things add up to good things and get us to the next round again. Theyre going to be fantastic games.
Uniteds trip to Villarreal in Group E will revive bad memories of striker Wayne Rooneys sending off there in September 2005 as Alex Fergusons side failed to progress into the knockout phase. Chelsea , also has a relatively easy Group E, featuring AS Roma, Bordeaux and newcomer CFR Cluj.
Five-time champion Liverpool will meet Marseille for a second straight season, and striker Fernando Torres will return to former club Atletico Madrid. Juventus has a tough return to the lucrative competition after a two-year absence in Group H. The Italians will have to overcome nine-time champion Real Madrid, Uefa Cup winner Zenit St. Petersburg and Belarussian champion Bate Borisov.
New Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola will be pleased with Group C, which includes Sporting Lisbon, FC Basel and Shakhtar Donetsk. Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho, looking to repeat his 2004 Champions League triumph with FC Porto, will have to negotiate Werder Bremen, Panathinaikos and Anorthosis Famagusta in Group B. Bayern Munich striker Luca Toni will play former club Fiorentina in Group F, which also includes Lyon and Steaua Bucharest.
Lyon is a tough nut to crack, Fiorentina has its appeal because of Luca Toni, Bayern Munich coach Juergen Klinsmann. Arsenal, FC Porto, Fenerbahce and Dynamo Kiev meet in Group G.