Champions League group stage draw: Pot 2

All you need to know about the eight teams in Pot 2 ahead of Thursday's group stage draw.

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Real Madrid (ESP)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2018/19): 1
How they qualified: third in Spain
Best European Cup performance: winners (13 times, most recently 2017/18)

What to expect: The unexpected. After a disappointing campaign both domestically and on the continent last season, Zinédine Zidane is back at the helm. The Frenchman has reshaped the squad with plenty of new faces. Madrid should excite going forward, but might be vulnerable at the back.

Atlético Madrid (ESP)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2018/19): 4
How they qualified: second in Spain
Best European Cup performance: runners-up (three times, most recently 2015/16)

Five great Atlético goals
Five great Atlético goals

What to expect: Portugal forward João Félix has landed in the Spanish capital on a seven-year deal, filling the boots of the outgoing Antoine Griezmann. Bursting onto the scene last term with 15 goals league for Benfica, the teenager is likely to be integral to the counterattacking game preferred by coach Diego Simeone.

Borussia Dortmund (GER)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2018/19): 13
How they qualified: second in Germany
Best European Cup performance: winners (1996/97)

What to expect: A smarter and more composed side than last season, when Dortmund bowed out in the round of 16. The additions of Mats Hummels, Thorgan Hazard, Julian Brandt and Nico Schulz addressed squad weaknesses; they should give Dortmund the potential to make waves, at home and in Europe.

Napoli (ITA)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2018/19): 15
How they qualified: second in Italy
Best European Cup performance: round of 16 (twice, most recently 2016/17)

Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti is chasing a fourth title
Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti is chasing a fourth title©Getty Images

What to expect: Carlo Ancelotti has won three UEFA Champions Leagues – two with AC Milan, one with Real Madrid – and can target a fourth in his second season at Napoli. After a group stage exit in 2018/19, defence may be the priority, the arrivals of Kostas Manolas and Giovanni Di Lorenzo bolstering his back line.

Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2018/19): 16
How they qualified: Ukrainian champions
Best European Cup performance: quarter-finals (2010/11)

What to expect: Shakhtar have failed to qualify for the group stage just twice since 2006/07, and notably topped their pool in 2010/11 before losing to Barcelona in the last eight. New coach Luís Castro – who replaced Roma-bound Paulo Fonseca in June – will hope Júnior Moraes can keep the goals coming.

Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2018/19): 17
How they qualified: fourth in England
Best European Cup performance: runners-up (2018/19)

All Spurs' goals on the road to last season's final
All Spurs' goals on the road to last season's final

What to expect: Mauricio Pochettino is still in north London and will be desperate to bounce back from Spurs' final defeat by Liverpool in June. Spearheaded by talisman Harry Kane, the squad boasts seven men who reached at least the World Cup semi-finals in 2018.

Ajax (NED)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2018/19): 20
How they qualified: Dutch champions, play-off winners
Best European Cup performance: winners (four times, most recently 1994/95)

What to expect: Generational talents Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt have left, but the free-flowing and exciting football that made headlines around the world last term remains. Dušan Tadić, David Neres, Hakim Ziyech and summer signing Quincy Promes make up a thrilling forward line.

Benfica (POR)

UEFA coefficient ranking (end of 2018/19): 21
How they qualified: Portuguese champions
Best European Cup performance: winners (twice, most recently 1961/62)

What to expect: Wonderkid João Félix has joined Atlético and Raúl Jiménez has signed on with Wolves, but talent keeps flowing through the Lisbon club, with Raúl de Tomás and Carlos Vinícius among the new recruits. Academy graduate Nuno Tavares also promises much. Benfica finished third in their group last term yet may well benefit from their attacking reinforcements.

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