CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW: Arsenal face Porto, Fenerbahce and Kiev
Arsenal s path to the quarter finals of the Champions League is barred by former winners Porto, Turkish side Fenerbahce and top Russians Dinamo Kiev, the three teams drawn in the same group as the Gunners in this afternoon s eagerly-anticipated draw in Fr
Arsenal's path to the quarter finals of the Champions League is barred by former winners Porto, Turkish side Fenerbache and top Russians Dynamo Kiev, the three teams drawn in the same group as the Gunners in this afternoon's eagerly-anticipated draw in France.
The full group line-up is:
Group A: Chelsea, Roma, Bordeaux, CFR Clujnaporca.
Group B: Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, Panathinaikos, Anorthosis Famagusta
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Group C: Barcelona, Sporting Lisbon, FC Basel, Shakhtar Donetsk
Group D: Liverpool, PSV Eindhoven, Marseilles, Atletico Madrid
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Group E: Manchester United, Villareal, Celtic, AAB Aalborg
Group F: Lyon, Bayern Munich. Steaua Bucharest, Fiorentina
Group G: Arsenal, Porto, Fenerbache, Dynamo Kiev
Group H: Real Madrid, Juventus, Zenit St Petersburg, Bate Borisov
Games will be played on the following dates: 16/17 September; 30 September/1 October; 21/22 October; 4/5 November; 25/26 November; 9/10 December
The eight group winners plus the runners-up go through to the knockout stages of the competition, while the teams finishing third go into the Uefa Cup.
Rome's Stadio Olimpico will stage the Champions League final on 27 May 2009.
The stadium was the venue for Liverpool's European Cup triumphs in 1977 and 1984 and also played host to Juventus' victory in 1996.
The four English sides dominated the seedings for the group stage draw which took place at Monaco's Grimaldi Forum. Manchester United topped the 'coefficient' rankings ahead of Chelsea, with Liverpool third, Barcelona fourth, Arsenal fifth and Lyon, Inter Milan and Real Madrid completing the top tier, though the Spanish champions only just made it ahead of Bayern Munich.
This meant that English clubs were sure to avoid each other by taking four of the top five seedings with only Barcelona, 2-1 conquerors of Arsenal in the 2006 final, preventing a 'clean sweep' by the Premier League's big four.
Scottish champions Celtic could have been drawn against any of the English teams but again ended up in the same group as Manchester United.