Barcelona will take on Bayern Munich, Benfica, and Dynamo Kiev in Group E of the 2021-22 Champions League. The group stage draw for Europe’s elite competition was made in Turkey on Thursday ahead of the first round of matches scheduled for 14-15 September.
It’s a tricky draw for Barcelona who head into the tournament hoping to lift the European Cup for the first time since 2015. The top two teams from each group qualify and progress to the Round of 16.
The draw has
Here’s a look at the draw in full:
The Champions League remains the trophy Barcelona cherishes the most, but the Catalan giants have struggled in recent campaigns. Last season brought a last-16 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain, while previous years have seen heartbreaking exits at the hands of Bayern, Roma, and Liverpool.
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Barcelona vs Bayern Munich
Barcelona faces a tough test up against Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and will need no reminding of what happened the last time the two sides met in European competition.
The Bavarian giants thrashed Barcelona 8-2 in the quarter-finals of the competition in Portugal back in August 2019. It was a humiliating result for the Catalans and led to the swift dismissal of then-coach Quique Setien.
The result also saw Philippe Coutinho, who was on loan at Bayern at the time, score against his parent club after coming on as a substitute. Bayern went on to win the title, beating Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the final.
The Bavarian giants were crowned Bundesliga champions yet again last season for the ninth straight campaign. Striker Robert Lewandowski once again played an integral role, scoring 41 times in the league and 5 times in the Champions League, and will pose the Barca defense a big threat.
Bayern boalkeeper Manuel Neuer has already offered his reaction to the prospect of taking on Barcelona once again, as shown by Barca Buzz.
Benfica & Dynamo Kiev Also In Group E
Barcelona will also take on Portuguese side Benfica who finished third in the Primeira Liga in 2020-21. Benfica had to come through qualifying to make it to the group stages and secured their place after wins over Spartak Mosow and PSV Eindhoven.
Meanwhile, Dynamo Kiev qualified for the group stages automatically as Ukrainian champions. Mircea Lucescu’s men finished 11 points clear of Shakhtar Donetsk and suffered just one league defeat in 2020-21.
Barca faced Kiev last season in the Champions League and won both group matches comfortably. The Catalan giants ran out 2-1 winners at the Camp Nou and enjoyed a 4-0 victory in Ukraine.
Ilya Zabarnyi defender told UEFA he’s looking forward to the challenge. He said, “We have a very good and tough group. It’s a great chance to prove ourselves and try to show the whole world that we can compete at this level.”
Bayern and Barca will be expected to take the top two spots in Group E and make it through to the last 16 of the competition. Finishing top often means a kinder draw for the knockout stages, but recent form means Bayern will be favorites for top spot.