Guardiola returning to Barca in Champions League

Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:20pm EDT
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By Brian Homewood

MONACO (Reuters) - Pep Guardiola will return to the Nou Camp in the Champions League group stage after his new club Manchester City were drawn against his former Barcelona team on Thursday in one of the toughest of the eight groups.

Bayern Munich were given a quick chance to avenge last season's semi-final defeat by Atletico Madrid after they were drawn together while English Premier League winners Leicester City will face Porto, Club Bruges and Copenhagen on their debut.

Elsewhere, holders and 11-times champions Real Madrid renew their recent rivalry with Borussia Dortmund.

Barca and City were drawn in Group C alongside Borussia Moenchengladbach and former European champions Celtic, with recent history clearly favoring the Catalans.

Spanish coach Guardiola, who won the Champions League twice with Barca, suffered a 5-3 aggregate defeat when he faced his old team with Bayern in the semi-finals two seasons ago.

City, who visit the Nou Camp on Oct. 19, met Barca in the round of 16 in 2013-14 and 2014-15 and lost both legs on each occasion.

Bayern, now under triple Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti, and Atletico are clear favorites to progress from Group D which also features PSV Eindhoven and Russian league runners-up Rostov who are also group-stage debutantes.

Ancelotti was cautious, however, pointing out that Atletico needed a penalty shootout to beat PSV last season and that Rostov eliminated Ajax Amsterdam in the playoffs this week.   Continued...

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Manchester City v Steaua Bucharest - UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Off Second Leg - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England - 24/8/16. Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine Livepic