Champions League Draw 2014: Full List of Fixtures and Dates for Group Stage

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2014

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

The 2014-15 UEFA Champions League draw took place on Thursday in Monaco following the conclusion of the final round of play-off fixtures. And with 32 of the top clubs in Europe vying for the Old Big Ears, the road to the final at the Olympia Stadium in Berlin is never going to be easy.    

AS Roma and AS Monaco are the two clubs from Pot 4 everyone wants to avoid, while Liverpool will present any of the favourites with a nightmare scenario from Pot 3.   

Here's the full draw for the 2014-15 Champions League Group Stage:

2014-15 Champions League Draw: Group Stages
Group AGroup BGroup CGroup D
Atletico MadridReal MadridBenficaArsenal
JuventusFC BaselZenitBorussia Dortmund
OlympiacosLiverpoolBayer LeverkusenGalatasaray
MalmoLudogoretsAS MonacoAnderlecht
Group EGroup FGroup GGroup H
Bayern MunichBarcelonaChelseaFC Porto
Manchester CityParis Saint-GermainSchalke 04Shakhtar
CSKA MoscowAjaxSporting ClubAthletic Bilbao
RomaAPOELMariborBATE Borisov

The full schedule for the 2014-15 Champions League group stage:


MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25:  Manchester City Manager Manuel Pellegrini looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on August 25, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunski
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Premier League champions Manchester City were given a very difficult task qualifying from Group E, this year's so-called "Group of Death."

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Facing perennial contenders Bayern Munich, a difficult trip to Russia to take on CSKA Moscow and Italian giants AS Roma, the Citizens will need to be at their best to qualify for the knockout stages.

Gary Lineker feels the club just can't catch a break:

In contrast, Chelsea were given an easier path to the next round with Schalke 04, Sporting Club de Portugal and Maribor. While no team should be underestimated at this stage of the competition, the Blues should have little difficulty topping Group G.

As shared by Get West London's Dan Levene, the Blues will travel to Maribor for the very first time:

Arsenal will once again face Borussia Dortmund, while Galatasaray will present the Gunners with a tough away match and Anderlecht have started the 2014-15 season in dominant fashion in Belgium.

Returning to the competition for the first time since 2010, Liverpool avoided a potential nightmare draw, although a trip to the Bernabeu to take on defending champions Real Madrid won't be easy.

FC Basel have had an excellent track record in Europe in recent years and will rival the Reds for the second spot in Group B, while newcomers Ludogorets get to host two of the most storied clubs in all of football.


MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 25:  Real Madrid player Gareth Bale lifts the trophy during the Real Madrid celebration the day after winning the UEFA Champions League final at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on May 25, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. Real Madrid CF achieves their
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Defending champions Real Madrid added numerous World Cup heroes to their squad over the summer, and there's little doubt these perennial contenders will once again be among the favourites to make it to Berlin.

No club has ever repeated as champions since the tournament took on its current format, but as reported by ESPN FC, star forward Cristiano Ronaldo believes Los Blancos have the talent to make history. When asked if it was possible, he said:

Madrid are going to be the first team. I hope so. Maybe we have the potential to be the best but I believe the players that Real Madrid have bought this season -- James [Rodriguez], [Toni] Kroos and [Keylor] Navas -- are going to give more support to the team and more quality.

Spanish rivals Barcelona added arguably the biggest name in the summer transfer window, as former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez will be suiting up for the Blaugrana once his ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup ends.

Coupled with the addition of Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Barcelona look much improved compared to the squad that went trophyless in 2013-14. Playing in the competitive La Liga always puts extra strain on Spanish squads, but these two heavyweights have a history of excellence in Europe.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 24:  Ivan Rakitic (R) of FC Barcelona consults with Lionel Messi before taking a free kick during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Elche FC at Camp Nou stadium on August 24, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Do
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

The same can be said for German champions Bayern Munich, who looked dominant for much of 2013-14 but fell apart late in the season. Pep Guardiola is in his second year managing the team, and his squad should be much improved as a result.

Robert Lewandowski gives the Bavarians an extra dimension in attack, and if the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger can remain injury-free throughout the season, the Germans might just be favourites to go all the way.

Chelsea added veteran talent and proven production to their squad over the summer, and the early signs are very positive. The health of Diego Costa will be key for the Blues, who always seem to step it up in the latter stages of a big tournament.

Dark Horses

ROME, ITALY - AUGUST 19:  Francesco Totti of AS Roma scores the opening goal from the penalty spot during the pre-season friendly match between AS Roma and Fenerbahce SK at Stadio Olimpico on August 19, 2014 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Im
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

If there was ever a team from Pot 4 capable of making waves in the tournament, it's AS Roma in 2014-15. The Giallorossi have a young, exciting squad that has improved tremendously in the past two years, and while they lack the experience to win the cup, they're the one club no one wants to face in the group stages.

Manchester City are tipped to finally get over the European hump seemingly every year, and every year, they fall short. The summer of 2014 has been relatively quiet at the Etihad, but the consistency might actually help the Citizens on this occasion.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25:  Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool shoots at goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on August 25, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Bayer Leverkusen looked absolutely dominant during the play-offs, and as far as talent goes, they're more than worthy of a spot in Pot 2. The same goes for Liverpool, who will finally make their return to the biggest stage of European football.

Zenit St. Petersburg and FC Basel are two of the most consistent clubs in European football. While their results are often unspectacular, they get the job done and will present any club with a difficult away fixture. Top teams sleeping on the Russian or Swiss outfit could soon find themselves outside of the top spot.

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