Chelsea will face Schalke, FC Basel, and Steaua Bucharest in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stages. Paired along with the German, Swiss, and Romanian clubs, Chelsea have a tough task of progressing past the Group E. Undoubtedly, Chelsea will be the favourites to progress, but no games are easy in the Champions League and this draw is a remainder of that fact. The first round of matches are scheduled on 17-18 September.
Group E: Chelsea, Schalke, FC Basel, Steaua Bucharest
Chelsea have played against Schalke twice in 2007 with the blues being undefeated in the two matches.
We came up against FC Basel only recently in the Europa League last season. Once again, we were victorious in both matches.
Steaua Bucharest were also one of our opponents last season, as Chelsea beat them on the way to Europa League success.
A decent group, but by no means easy.
The other groups are as follows:
Group A: Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Sociedad
Group B: Real Madrid, Juventus, Galatasaray, FC Copenhagen
Group C: Benfica, Paris St-Germain, Olympiakos, Anderlecht
Group D: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Manchester City, Viktoria Plzen
Group F: Arsenal, Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli
Group G: Porto, Atletico Madrid, Zenit St Petersburg, Austria Vienna
Group H: Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax, Celtic
Almost all groups look pretty tough, but there are some standout ties that draw my attention. Real Madrid vs Juventus, Barcelona vs AC Milan (Again? You must be kidding), and Bayern Munich vs Manchester City.