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UEFA Champions League Draw is Finely Balanced

The UEFA Champions League draw was held in Monte Carlo on Thursday, delivering no easy groups but no visible "Group of Death," either. Defending champion AC Milan received what was arguably the kindest draw, landing alongside Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine, Scottish champ Glasgow Celtic and Freddy Adu's Benfica. The Portuguese giant took the second seed, although competition for second place should be fierce, if Milan wins the group as expected.

In Group G, neighboring Serie A title holder Inter Milan drew Dutch champ PSV Eindhoven, Russian champ CSKA Moscow and Turkey's Fenerbahce. Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry and Barcelona landed in Group E alongside French champion Lyon, Bundesliga winner VfB Stuttgart and DaMarcus Beasley and Glasgow Rangers. Spanish champion Real Madrid was grouped with Lazio of Serie A, Germany's Werder Bremen and Greek champ Olympiakos in Group C.

The draw was less kind to the EPL's representatives. Both Manchester United and Chelsea landed in groups with their respective 2007 quarterfinal opponents, AS Roma and Valencia, although United's Group F looks slightly tougher with Sporting Lisbon and Dinamo Kiev. Chelsea will also face Schalke and Norwegian champ Rosenborg in Group B. Last year's finalist, Liverpool, was grouped with Portuguese champ FC Porto, Marseille and Besiktas of Turkey in Group A, while Arsenal faces Slavia Prague, Steaua Bucharest and the winner of the Sevilla-AEK Athens clash in Group H.

Read the whole story at Associated Press »

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