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Champions League group stages: Chelsea drawn against old friends in Group G

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Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

For the second straight year, Chelsea have been drawn into Group G of the Champions League group stages.  Hopefully we won't falter as early as last season, when we were eliminated by 10-man Paris Saint-Germain in the Round of 16.

Of course, before we can worry about that, we have to navigate the group stages.  Fortunately, it looks like a fairly straightforward task for this year.

  • Pot 2 -- FC Porto:  Chelsea got fairly lucky here, drawing one of the weaker teams out of pot 2 and avoiding both of the Madrids.  It's the Jose Mourinho Derby!  This is now the 4th time we'll get to face Porto in the groups after 2004, 2007, and 2009.
  • Pot 3 -- Dynamo Kiev:  Last year's Ukranian champions are no pushovers, but at least we avoided the likes of Roma, Sevilla, Lyon.
  • Pot 4 -- Maccabi Tel-Aviv:  Should be 6 points.  (We've faced, and lost to, a team from Tel Aviv before, but that was Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2001 in the UEFA Cup.)

So, Chelsea's path into the knockout round looks easy enough, and hopefully we'll even have some throwaway games at the end of the group stage to give minutes to fringe players and the youth.

While total travel distance is a consideration, we do have it best out of all the English teams, with Arsenal have to face Bayern Munich, Manchester United getting tough pot 3 (CSKA Moscow) and pot 4 (Wolfsburg) draws, and Manchester City once again ending up in the Group of Death!