Tottenham are bracing themselves for a potentially turbulent Champions League campaign after being drawn in the tournament’s group of death.
Spurs, who will feature in the competition’s group stage for the second successive season, were pitted in Group H alongside 12-time conquerors of Europe and current holders Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Apoel of Cyprus.
The draw presents Tottenham, last season’s Premier League runners-up, with a possible reunion with former White Hart Lane favourites Gareth Bale, who left Spurs for a then world-record £85m in 2013, and Luka Modric.
“You expect to play the best in Europe in the Champions League and it’s exciting for us,” said striker Harry Kane. “Our aim is to win every game and this will be a good test to see where we’re at and how far we’ve come.”
Defending Premier League champions Chelsea, meanwhile, were drawn in Group C alongside La Liga outfit Atletico Madrid, Italian side Roma and group-stage debutants Qarabag of Azerbaijan.
The meeting with Atletico has already been dubbed the “Diego Costa derby” by supporters in reference to the Spain striker’s desire to rejoin Diego Simeone’s ranks after a seemingly irreparable deterioration in his working relationship with Antonio Conte.
Manchester United, who qualified for the competition courtesy of winning last season’s Europa League, have, on paper, been handed the most straightforward group of all the British sides. United will face Benfica, Basel and CSKA Moscow.
In the first ever season in which five English clubs have reached the group stage, Manchester City are in Group F alongside Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli and Feyenoord.
Liverpool, who navigated a Champions League play-off against Hoffenheim to reach this round of the tournament, will come up against Spartak Moscow, Sevilla and Maribor in Group E.
“There are groups with Barcelona, Bayern, Juventus and Real Madrid and not to get them is of course more good than bad,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
Six British clubs are in the group stage for the first time since 2007-08 and Celtic will have to overcome Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Anderlecht. The group stages begin on 12-13 September.