The 2015-16 Champions League draw for the group stage took place Thursday as Europe's elite eagerly waited to see who will stand between them and the business end of the competition.
Spain are the first nation to field five teams in the group phase, while Astana are Kazakhstan's first representatives after triumphing over APOEL in the play-offs.
Bundesliga outfits Borussia Monchengladbach and Wolfsburg were the teams to avoid in Pot 4, while Pot 3 was particularly dangerous this year thanks to the inclusion of the likes of Sevilla, Roma and Lyon.
Here's the full draw for the 2015-16 Champions League group stage:
|2015-16 Champions League Draw: Group Stages|
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|Paris Saint-Germain||PSV Eindhoven||Benfica||Juventus|
|Real Madrid||Manchester United||Atletico Madrid||Manchester City|
|Shakhtar Donetsk||CSKA Moscow||Galatasaray||Sevilla|
|Malmo FF||Wolfsburg||Astana||Borussia Monchengladbach|
|Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H|
|BATE Borisov||Dinamo Zagreb||Maccabi Tel-Aviv||Gent|
|Group Stage Dates|
|Matchday 1||15/16 September|
|Matchday 2||29/30 September|
|Matchday 3||20/21 October|
|Matchday 4||3/4 November|
|Matchday 5||24/25 November|
|Matchday 6||8/9 December|
Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba will play at the Etihad Stadium this season but not in the manner Manchester City fans will have hoped.
The draw produced a particularly thrilling lineup for Group D, with the Serie A champions taking on City, Europa League winners Sevilla and Monchengladbach.
As Match of the Day host Gary Lineker noted, City have once again drawn an incredibly difficult group:
Gary Lineker @GaryLineker
No team loves a tough @ChampionsLeague group more than Manchester City.2015-8-27 16:27:17
Journalists Tancredi Palmeri and David Amoyal believe the draw will be tricky for the Italian outfit, having enjoyed more favourable draws in recent years:
Tancredi Palmeri @tancredipalmeri
Very bad for Juve, normal for Manchester City2015-8-27 16:21:15
David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal
Tough group for Juve with City and Sevilla, they had gotten two easy groups (at least on paper) previous two seasons2015-8-27 16:27:24
If City can replicate their early domestic form in Europe, the Sky Blues will stand an excellent chance of matching Juventus, but like last year, they could require some late heroics to scrape through.
Meanwhile, Sevilla will be a significant threat. The Spanish side are adept at handling European competition, having won back-to-back Europa League titles, and having recruited well over the summer, they look ready to make the step up to Europe's elite competition.
The likes of Yevhen Konoplyanka, Ciro Immobile and former Juventus forward Fernando Llorente will add punch to their attack, while the arrival of Steven N'Zonzi will add even more solidity in midfield alongside Grzegorz Krychowiak.
Nevertheless, the Old Lady will still be favourites to top the group, but expect a titanic tussle for the second qualifying spot.
Group F will see a mouthwatering showdown with Bayern Munich and Arsenal.
Football journalist Rafael Hernandez noted that managers Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola will face each other once again, having met frequently in recent years:
Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117
Guardiola gets Arsenal for the 5th time in his 7th year as a top level coach.2015-8-27 16:17:32
The Gunners face the unenviable task of taking on the Bundesliga champions twice as they bid to top the group. The Mirror's John Cross found one silver lining for the north London outfit:
John Cross @johncrossmirror
Arsenal can't get knocked out by Bayern in the last 16 stage. That's a bonus.2015-8-27 16:17:51
Arsenal should still be able to qualify for the knockout stage, though, as Olympiacos and Dinamo Zagreb shouldn't prove too difficult for a side of their calibre and experience.
Such is the feeling of the Gunners themselves.
According to BBC Sport, club secretary David Miles told BT Sport: "The draw started very ominously but as it progressed I would have to say we are relatively happy with it overall. If I'm being honest we would probably have preferred not to be facing Bayern Munich but that's where we are. It's about time we turned the tables on them."
However, having been knocked out by Monaco last year, the Gunners have a history of making life difficult for themselves in the Champions League, so they will need to avoid complacency to assure their progression.
The arrival of Petr Cech should help in that regard, but if Wenger hopes to match Munich in their two clashes, some more work in the transfer market is definitely needed.