Group A: Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Sociedad
The first Champions League group for David Moyes is tougher than he would have hoped for – both Shakhtar Donetsk and Bayer Leverkusen are well-organised sides with counterattacking potential. The Ukrainian champions have reached the knockout stages in two of the last three campaigns while Leverkusen are now coached by Sami Hyypia. Real Sociedad lost star midfielder Asier Illarramendi and manager Philippe Montanier in the summer, but their impressive 4-0 aggregate victory over Lyon showed their quality.
Group B: Real Madrid, Juventus, Galatasaray, FC Copenhagen
Carlo Ancelotti will be returning to one of his former clubs, and Real Madrid's matches against Juventus will define this group, but both sides should progress. Fatih Terim's Galatasaray caused Real problems at the quarter-final stage last season, while Stale Solbakken is back in charge of Copenhagen after his unhappy spell with Wolves.
Group C: Benfica, Paris Saint-Germain, Olympiakos, Anderlecht
Perhaps the least glamorous group: PSG are favourites after a promising return to the competition last year, reaching the quarter-final stage. Benfica will be particularly desperate to progress considering the Estádio da Luz is hosting the final, and their main challenge will come from Olympiakos. Anderlecht are regulars at this stage, but have not progressed further since 2000/01.
Group D: Manchester City, Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Viktoria Plzen
Having being drawn in the group of death for the past two seasons – failing to progress on either occasion – Manchester City will be relatively happy, despite having to take on the European champions Bayern Munich, where Pep Guardiola, right, is still settling in and looking to make his mark. The other two sides might be trickier than expected, though – CSKA boast some talented attackers and Moscow is a tough away trip, while Pavel Vrba's Viktoria Plzen are exciting underdogs, with a keen focus on fast, attacking football.
Group E: Chelsea, Schalke, Basel, Steaua Bucharest
José Mourinho could hardly have hoped for a better group – Schalke only just clinched fourth place in the Bundesliga last year, and have started their league campaign with two defeats and a draw. Mourinho will also be pleased to return to the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen, where he won this competition with Porto 10 seasons ago. Basel are always trickier opponents than English clubs expect, effectively eliminating Manchester United two seasons ago, but Steaua Bucharest should not be a problem.
Group F: Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Marseille, Napoli
Arsenal brushed aside Ligue 1 runners-up Marseille last season with few problems, but Dortmund were the toughest of the Pot 3 sides and Napoli the most dangerous from Pot 4. Arsenal performed well against Jürgen Klopp's side two years ago but Dortmund have improved considerably given greater European experience. Rafael Benítez has managed Napoli against Arsenal this season – a 2-2 Emirates Cup draw. He has revamped the side in his usual 4-2-3-1 formation, spearheaded by the former Arsenal target Gonzalo Higuaín.
Group G: Porto, Atlético Madrid, Zenit St Petersburg, Austria Vienna
This feels like the "alternative" group – none of the biggest names but three excellent footballing sides. Zenit – featuring Hulk – Atlético and Porto have won four of the last six Europa Leagues between them, demonstrating their capability in Europe. Austria WienVienna are champions for the first time in seven years but should not be a threat.
Group H: Barcelona, Milan, Ajax, Celtic
Four previous European champions together – Barça and Milan have met in the past two group stages, but these meetings have often lacked significance as both have qualified with ease. This should be the same again, though Frank de Boer will enjoy a return to the Camp Nou, and Celtic's win over Barça last year shows their potential