Chelsea's nightmare scenarios in UEFA Champions League group stage draw today

Saturday, 31 Aug, 2019

Holders Liverpool received a relatively kind draw for this season's Champions League group stage but 13-time European champions Real Madrid were pitted against Kylian Mbappe's Paris St Germain.

"I had to work every step of the way", added Van Dijk, who was also part of the Netherlands side who lost the inaugural Nations League final to Ronaldo's Portugal.

When will the Europa League games take place? Coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.

Both missed out on Champions League glory as Juve were knocked out by Ajax and Barca were undone by Liverpool in the semi-finals.

The British quintet of Manchester United, last year's runners-up Arsenal and playoff round victors Wolves, Celtic and Rangers have found out who they will face in the Europa League group stages.

Not only did Arsenal avoid some of the bigger names, they've also missed out on some of the longer journeys. Ajax, who were one kick of the ball away from reaching last year's final, have had their team gutted over the summer and yet remain a confident and talented young team.

Real Madrid will be hoping to bounce back after a dismal 2018/19 season and PSG will be hoping for a strong campaign in Europe after going out in the Round of 16 in the last two years.

All opening group games will be played on September 19 with the last games on December 12. As the first round of matches approaches there might be value in laying Chelsea to qualify.

And they will be pleased to know that being drawn in Group F has thrown up the most winners in the competition's history. I only played in the cup and thanks to the confidence the manager deposited in me, it was a very positive thing for me.

Elsewhere, Group G sees Zenit, Benfica, Lyon and RB Leipzig together in a group which looks to be the most finely poised on paper.