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Old acquaintances to be renewed

Published: Thursday 26 August 2004, 21.14CET
José Mourinho's Chelsea FC will play holders FC Porto in the group stage after the draw was made in Monaco.

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Published: Thursday 26 August 2004, 21.14CET

Old acquaintances to be renewed

José Mourinho's Chelsea FC will play holders FC Porto in the group stage after the draw was made in Monaco.
The draw for the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League group stage has been made at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

Twelve former champions
Twelve former European Champion Clubs' Cup winners and one newcomer, Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC, were among the 32 teams divided into four pots in accordance with seedings and drawn into eight four-team groups.

Mourinho return
Holders FC Porto, the top seeds, will come up against the man who guided them to success in Gelsenkirchen, José Mourinho, when they play Chelsea FC. Also placed in a testing Group H are Paris Saint-Germain FC and PFC CSKA Moskva, the Russian champions who are appearing in the group stage for the first time since the inaugural Champions League in 1992/93.

Zidane genius
Another man returning to his old club is Real Madrid CF recruit Walter Samuel, the former AS Roma central defender. Group B will also see a repeat of one of the great recent finals, Madrid against Bayer 04 Leverkusen - a match settled by the genius of Zinedine Zidane - while FC Dynamo Kyiv are regulars in the competition.

Attractive section
Group C is one of the most attractive sections with two four-time winners, FC Bayern München and AFC Ajax, pitted against Juventus FC, champions of Europe in 1984/85 and 1995/96, and Maccabi Tel-Aviv - a daunting introduction for the Israeli side. On a curious note, it will be the first meeting in official competition of Juve and Bayern.

English record
Three former winners, FC Barcelona, AC Milan and Celtic FC, will take on FC Shakhtar Donetsk in Group F. This means a return to Glasgow for Barcelona forward Henrik Larsson. Meanwhile Arsenal FC, who last night set an English record of 43 successive league games without defeat, tackle Panathinaikos FC, PSV Eindhoven and Rosenborg BK in Group E.

UEFA Cup holders
In Group G, UEFA Cup holders and Spanish champions Valencia CF will play FC Internazionale, a repeat of the quarter-final tie won by the Italian team two seasons ago, as well as RSC Anderlecht, conquerors of two-time winners SL Benfica in the third qualifying round, and Werder Bremen, the German champions.

Monaco draw
Manchester United FC, Olympique Lyonnais, AC Sparta Praha and Fenerbahçe SK will contest Group D. Last season's runners-up AS Monaco FC meet two clubs who negotiated the third qualifying round, RC Deportivo La Coruña and Liverpool FC, and Greek runners-up Olympiacos CFP in Group A.

Match dates
During the group stage, each team will play three matches on a Tuesday and three on a Wednesday, starting with the first of six matchdays on 14/15 September. The remaining dates are: 28/29 September, 19/20 October, 2/3 November, 23/24 November and 7/8 December.

Istanbul final
The group winners and runners-up advance to the knockout stage, with the third-placed side moving into the third round of the UEFA Cup. The final will take place at the Atatürk Olympic stadium in Istanbul, Turkey on 25 May 2005. It will be the first UEFA club competition final to be staged at the 80,000-seater venue.

Click here to see the group stage fixtures in full

Group A
RC Deportivo La Coruña (ESP)
Liverpool FC (ENG)
AS Monaco FC (FRA)
Olympiacos CFP (GRE)

Group B
Real Madrid CF (ESP)
AS Roma (ITA)
Bayer 04 Leverkusen (GER)
FC Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)

Group C
FC Bayern München (GER)
Juventus FC (ITA)
AFC Ajax (NED)
Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (ISR)

Group D
Manchester United FC (ENG)
Olympique Lyonnais (FRA)
AC Sparta Praha (CZE)
Fenerbahçe SK (TUR)

Group E
Arsenal FC (ENG)
Panathinaikos FC (GRE)
PSV Eindhoven (NED)
Rosenborg BK (NOR)

Group F
FC Barcelona (ESP)
AC Milan (ITA)
Celtic FC (SCO)
FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)

Group G
Valencia CF (ESP)
FC Internazionale (ITA)
RSC Anderlecht (BEL)
Werder Bremen (GER)

Group H
FC Porto (POR)
Chelsea FC (ENG)
Paris Saint-Germain FC (FRA)
PFC CSKA Moskva (RUS)

Last updated: 27/08/04 8.56CET

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