Champions League group stage draw: Pot 1

Real Madrid (ESP)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2017/18): 1
How they qualified: UEFA Champions League winners
Best European Cup performance: winners x13 (most recently 2017/18)

In a nutshell: Champions for three seasons running but, curiously, an unknown entity now that Zinédine Zidane has been replaced by Julen Lopetegui and Cristiano Ronaldo is in Turin. How will Lopetegui cope? Who will fill Ronaldo’s 450-goal void? Will Madrid’s European dominance continue or has the bubble burst?

Atlético Madrid (ESP)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2017/18): 2
How they qualified: UEFA Europa League winners
Best European Cup performance: runners-up x3 (most recently 2015/16)

Atlético are eyeing a final on home soil

Atlético are eyeing a final on home soil©Getty Images

In a nutshell: Diego Simeone and his team keep on truckin’. Atlético have reached three European finals in the past five seasons and continue to upset the odds by playing with peerless intensity. This season’s showpiece takes place at their very own Estadio Metropolitano.

Bayern München (GER)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2017/18): 3
How they qualified: Bundesliga champions
Best European Cup performance: winners x5 (most recently 2012/13)

In a nutshell: Another European powerhouse with a new coach in charge. Niko Kovač is the man taking over from Jupp Heynckes; he will need to reinvigorate an ageing squad and prove he belongs at this level.

Barcelona (ESP)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2017/18): 4
How they qualified: Spanish Liga champions
Best European Cup performance: winners x5 (most recently 2014/15)

In a nutshell: Barça have been eliminated at the quarter-final stage for three seasons running, but the pragmatic Ernesto Valverde laid solid foundations last term and will hope for added sparkle from Philippe Coutinho in the Brazilian’s first full season at the club.

Juventus (ITA)

Watch all of Ronaldo's European goals

Watch all of Ronaldo’s European goals

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2017/18): 5
How they qualified: Serie A champions
Best European Cup performance: winners x2 (most recently 1995/96)

In a nutshell: Could Ronaldo’s arrival herald the end of Juve’s long wait for a third title? It’s certainly some statement. Massimiliano Allegri has steered Juve to two finals since taking over in 2014 but now must awaken them from the hurt of their dramatic exit at the hands of Real Madrid (and Ronaldo) last season. He’s got just the man for the job.

Paris (FRA)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2017/18): 7
How they qualified: Ligue 1 champions
Best European Cup performance: semi-finals (1994/95)

In a nutshell: Thomas Tuchel is the latest man charged with bringing European success to the French capital. Neymar and Kylian Mbappé will require broad shoulders, such is the responsibility resting with them, but Paris need to improve throughout if they are to show they can compete with their more established counterparts.

Manchester City (ENG)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2017/18): 8
How they qualified: Premier League champions
Best European Cup performance: semi-finals (2015/16)

Josep Guardiola is leading a revolution at City

Josep Guardiola is leading a revolution at City©AFP/Getty Images

In a nutshell: The Josep Guardiola revolution continues apace. City were simply sensational domestically last season, rewriting the Premier League record books, but still need to take the next step up in Europe. If anyone can, Guardiola can.

Lokomotiv Moskva (RUS)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2017/18): 63
How they qualified: Russian Premier League champions
Best European Cup performance: second group stage (2002/03)

In a nutshell: Yuri Semin was under intense scrutiny after Loko finished eighth in 2016/17, perhaps saved only by Russian Cup success. The faith placed in the 71-year-old was sensationally rewarded last term, a defence breached just 21 times in 30 games providing the bedrock for only their third Russian Premier League title.

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