Leicester City’s first visit to the UEFA Champions League, the richest prize from its unlikely Premier League championship last season, will include trips to Portugal, Belgium and Denmark, while the new Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, was placed in a group with his former club, Barcelona, in a draw held Thursday in Monaco.
Leicester City was drawn into a comparatively friendly group that included the two-time champion Porto of Portugal, Belgium’s Club Brugge and Denmark’s F.C. Copenhagen. Guardiola, who won the competition with Barcelona as a player (1992) and coach (2009 and 2011), will guide his new club, Manchester City, against the Catalans; Germany’s Borussia Monchengladbach, which beat his Bayern Munich team in league play last season; and Scotland’s Celtic.
While there was no obvious group of death created in the draw, Bayern Munich and Juventus drew two of the toughest first-round schedules. Bayern, the German champion, will face Atlético Madrid, which beat Bayern in the semifinals last season, but also P.S.V. Eindhoven of the Netherlands and Russia’s Rostov.
Juventus, which has won the past five Italian league titles and played in the Champions League final two years ago, was matched with Spain’s Sevilla, which has won the second-tier Europa League the past three seasons; Olympique Lyon of France; and Dinamo Zagreb.
By comparison, Arsenal and Paris St.-German, matched in Group A, will welcome their relatively lighter opposition: Switzerland’s F.C. Basel and Bulgaria’s Ludogorets. Real Madrid is in Group F with Borussia Dortmund, Sporting Lisbon and Legia Warsaw.
The field, as usual, has a familiar feel, with giants like Barcelona, Real…