So now we know exactly what each team is up against in this year’s Champions League, and there are plenty of eye-catching ties ahead.
Yesterday’s draw placed Arsenal in group A alongside an Ibrahimovic-less PSG side, Tottenham Hotspur in a deceivingly tough group containing CSKA Moscow, Bayer Leverkusen and Monaco and Leicester City (as a top seed side) drawn in group G with the likes of Porto and Club Brugge.
But perhaps the biggest news story of yesterday comes from group C, which will see Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola come up against his old side Barcelona for the third time in his career as a manager.
And although it’s unlikely the two-time Premier League champions will top their group, they are 5/4 favourites to go the furthest of all English clubs in Europe’s greatest club competition.
It’s something the Citizens achieved in last year’s competition after reaching the semi-final before they were knocked out by eventual Champions League winners Real Madrid, while no other English side could progress past the last 16.
Guardiola’s record in this competition is arguably the best bar none, having reached at least the semi-final stage in every year from 2008, when he first took over at Barcelona.
However, the Spanish boss has not been in a Champions League final for five years (shame on you, Pep!), so both him and his new club City will be looking to go one further this time out.
Elsewhere, Arsenal and Spurs are joint second-favourites to go the furthest of all the English clubs at 10/3, and both North London clubs will be confident of progressing from the group stages, something which the Gunners have done consistently for the last 16 years while Spurs’ only previous Champions League campaign led them to a quarter-final back in 2011.
Reigning Premier League champions Leicester are the outsiders of this market at 4/1. Not exactly 5000/1 outsiders, granted, but the Foxes will have no problem going into this European campaign labelled as the underdogs.
Ladbrokes Latest Betting:
Champions League 2016-17 Specials
Who will go the furthest:
Man City 5/4
Manchester City 2016-17 Champions League Specials:
All English teams to Qualify 1/1
Man City to win either game v Barcelona 6/5
Man City to do the double over Barcelona 14/1
All British teams to Qualify 20/1
Guardiola to be sent to the stands in either game 25/1