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Champions League: Bayern draw Atletico, Dortmund face Lazio

October 1, 2020

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have been handed theoretically favorable Champions League groups, but RB Leipzig and Borussia Mönchengladbach face much tougher challenges.

Champions League Finale 2020 Paris vs Bayern München | Sieger Bayern München
Image: AFP/M. Childs

Competition holders Bayern Munich have been drawn alongside Atletico Madrid, Red Bull Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow in favorable Champions League Group A following the draw in Geneva on Thursday.

Bayern were knocked out of the 2015/16 Champions League at the semifinal stage by Atletico, Diego Simeone's side progressing on away goals as Pep Guardiola's Bayern fell short in the last-four for the third season in a row, but last faced Lok Moscow back in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup. They have never met Austrian champions RB Salzburg.

Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund will also feel they have a strong chance of progressing from Group F, where they have been drawn alongside Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg, Italian side Lazio and Belgian underdogs Club Bruges.

BVB have met both Zenit and Bruges in recent years, traveling to St. Petersburg in the last-16 in 2014 and facing Bruges as recently as the 2018 group stage. Dortmund last played Lazio in the 1995 UEFA Cup quarterfinal, and will face former player Ciro Immobile this time around.

Making only their third ever Champions League appearance, RB Leipzig face a tougher task on paper at least, having been drawn in Group H alongside Paris Saint-Germain, who knocked them out of last season's tournament in the semifinal in Lisbon.

English giants Manchester United and Turkish newcomers Istanbul Basaksehir complete a set of clubs whose ownership models must represent many traditional football fans' worst nightmare.

Finally, Borussia Mönchengladbach are back in the Champions League for the first time since 2016, but they face a huge challenge in Group B alongside 13-time European champions Real Madrid, Europa League finalists Inter Milan and Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk.