Olympiakos

UEFA Champions League Group Stage Draw

Manchester City have been handed a tough draw in this season’s Champions League, being matched up with German Champions Bayern Munich in group E.

The Premier League holders will also have to face a tricky trip to CSKA Moscow and AS Roma.

Bayern Munich, Manchester City and CSKA Moscow were all drawn in the same group last season with Munich finishing first and Manchester City second.

Chelsea meanwhile were paired with Schalke 04 for the second season running and they will be joined in group G by Sporting Lisbon and Maribor, who elimiated Celtic in the last round.

Arsenal have been matched up with Borussia Dortmund again as well as Galatasay and Anderlecht.

Liverpool, in the Champions League for the first time in five years, will re-enter the competition knowing they will have to play holders Real Madrid, Swiss Champions FC Basel and Ludogorets of Bulgaria who make their Champions League bow.

Elsewhere beaten finalists Atletico Madrid have been drawn with Juventus and Barcelona will play PSG in a mouth watering tie.

Draw in full:

Group A: Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Olympiakos, Malmo

Group B: Real Madrid, FC Basel, Liverpool, Ludogorets

Group C: Benfica, Zenit, Bayer Leverkusen, AS Monaco

Group D: Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Galatasary, Anderlecht

Group E: Bayern Munich, Manchester City, CSKA Moscow, AS Roma

Group F: Barcelona, PSG, Ajax, APOEL Nicosia

Group G: Chelsea, Schalke 04, Sporting Lisbon, Maribor

Group H: Porto, Shaktar Donetsk, Athletic Bilbao, BATE Borisov

World Cup Preview: Costa Rica

Costa Rica go into this World Cup with every right to be downhearted, a group that will see them face Italy, Uruguay and England will almost certainly seal a first round exit.

If there is anything the Costa Ricans can be optimistic about, they will find it. Inspiration could be taken from their last World Cup appearance in 2006 that, although they lost every game, they were fairly competitive.

A narrow 4-2 loss to hosts Germany in game one of the tournament showed how they can worry the big sides. Paulo Wanchope leveled the scores at 1-1 in Munich while two of Germany’s goals – Phillip Lahm’s opener and Torsten Frings’ sealer were truly unstoppable.

Costa Rica have reached round two on previous occasion though, finishing second in a group of Brazil, Sweden and Scotland in Italia 90 before a 4-1 thrashing by Czechoslovakia.

Joel Campbell, on loan at Olympiakos from Arsenal, will be the inspiration in Brazil but he, and the rest of La Sele will need to have the best three games of their lives if they are going to upset all the odds in group D.