The Champions League is one of, if not the most idolized of club competitions in the world, and while the qualifying phases are as much a part of the cup as anything else, it’s when our groups are decided that the tournament really begins.
104 days after Chelsea beat Bayern Munich to claim the 2011-12 Champions League title, we start the process of the European tournament all over again after witnessing the group stage draw in Monaco.
As always, the stages are now set and it’s already possible to see just which fixtures will prove particularly tantalising, who is likely to advance and whose chances aren’t so strong.
Although the first group games won’t kick off until mid-September, we can now begin to formulate our opinions and the annual ritual of predicting what course the competition will take.
With the eight pools now decided, let’s take a group-by-group look at what action we can expect to see unfold before our eyes in the coming nine months.