The Champions League draw was kind to the five Spanish teams. Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid avoided the big teams in Pot 1 by getting Napoli and Feyenoord. Barcelona was lucky to avoid some of the toughest teams, and Sevilla and Real Sociedad were put in groups where they have a chance of making it to the last 16.
Group F is definitely the group of death, with PSG, Dortmund, AC Milan, and Newcastle. Luis Enrique will have a hard time getting his team to the next round. No one wanted Newcastle to be in Pot 4, and the big surprise was PSG, who are in Pot 3 with Milan.
The road to Barcelona looks like it will be easy. After failing in the first round the last two years, the goal of getting past Porto, Shakhtar, and Antwerp seems more than possible. The Belgians are playing in their first Champions League game, the Ukrainians will be playing in Hamburg instead of their home country, and Porto doesn’t look as good as they have in recent years.
Real Madrid was in Pot 2, and they were worried about City, PSG, and Bayern. Because they have to play Napoli, they will have to face three teams that haven’t played much in the Champions League. Napoli, the Italian champions, will face Madrid again. They will also play Braga from Portugal and Union Berlin, which is making its first appearance in the top continental tournament.
Atletico was given Feyenoord, which was the worst team in Pot 1. Celtic is not even close to being on the same level as Diego Simeone’s team, and it looks like Lazio is the only team in Group E that can fight with the red and white team.
Sevilla and Real Sociedad could still win.
The draw was good for the two Spanish teams that hadn’t played much in the Champions League before. Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal will be a very tough opponent for Sevilla, but PSV and Lens should be easy to beat.
Real Sociedad’s games against Inter, Benfica, and FC Salzburg will be tough, but they are good enough to be in the running for a spot in the next round.