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Experience will help Juve

Juventus
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Arsenal must beat minnows in UCL

Arsenal
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 By Rob Train

Real Madrid get gentle Champions League group to aid Rafa Benitez

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno and Alexis Nunes look ahead to the Champions League campaigns for Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

Rafa Benitez's task in the Champions League this season is fairly straightforward: win it. Carlo Ancelotti did but reaching the semifinals the following season wasn't enough to save his job. Jose Mourinho guided Real to the semis in three consecutive seasons after arriving at the Bernabeu in 2010, following a barren period for the club of six consecutive defeats in the round of 16.

Benitez's margin for error in his first season really doesn't fall anywhere in between. The semifinals may buy him...

 By Mark Worrall

Mourinho and Chelsea vs. Casillas and Porto should be exciting UCL matches

Last year no Premier League side made it past the Champions League round of 16. How will they fare this year?

Chelsea's early labours in defending their Premier League title along with preparations for Saturday's London derby with Crystal Palace were put on the side this afternoon, as the draw for the group stages of the Champions League took place in Monaco.

Drawn in Group G, the Blues will face familiar foes in Portuguese giants FC Porto as well as playing new opposition in the shape of legendary Ukrainian club Dynamo Kiev and Israeli champions Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

While the match-ups with Dynamo and Maccabi...

 By Mina Rzouki

Juventus will need to draw on experience in difficult Group D

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno and Alexis Nunes look ahead to the Champions League campaigns for Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

A certain few highlighted how lady luck smiled upon Juve last season, paving their way to the final by throwing easy challenges their way. After all, Borussia Dortmund were in the midst of their worst season under Jurgen Klopp, Monaco had sold off many of their stars and were far inferior in technical terms while Real Madrid, some opined, were an easier prospect that Bayern Munich or Barcelona.

To win, one always needs a little luck, but the Old Lady earned everything she achieved last season,...

 By Andy Mitten

Ander Herrera enjoying life at Man United after difficult first season

Wayne Rooney bagged a hat-trick in his side's convincing 4-0 victory over Club Brugge which sees them qualify for the Champions League.
Wayne Rooney ended his goal-scoring drought in style by netting a hat-trick in his side's 4-0 victory over Club Brugge.

Ander Herrera's goal in Bruges on Wednesday night wasn't a last minute winner away to Liverpool or Manchester City but the Basque-born midfielder wasn't going to let the opportunity slip to celebrate with the enthusiasm of a fan playing his only game for their team.

After scoring against an injury-hit Bruges team who'd gone unbeaten in their previous 10 European home games, Herrera ran towards the 2,000 travelling United fans on the upper tier of the Jan Breydal Stadium and slid towards them on...

Manchester United still light up front despite Rooney renaissance

Wayne Rooney's hat trick brought a 10-game barren run to an end in Manchester United's Champions League qualifier against Club Brugge.

Drought? What drought? Wayne Rooney's midweek hat trick brought to an end an 878 minute barren spell and booted suggestions that the 29-year-old might be over-the-hill straight into the dustbin. Manchester United have no need of a world class striker, they have one already. Beep. Beep. Identification accepted. You may proceed to the title race.

Or perhaps not. As Han Solo might have said it, "Good against the Belgians is one thing. Good on a weekly basis in the Premier League? That's something...

Atletico Madrid's favourable UCL group a big help for Simeone

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno and Alexis Nunes go group-by-group to break down the 2015 UEFA Champions League draw.

Diego Simeone and his squad could barely have asked for a better start to a club record third consecutive Champions League campaign, having been paired with Benfica, Galatasaray and Kazak minnows Astana on their first appearance in the big time.

Atletico's heavy investment over the summer in Jackson Martinez, the homecoming of Filipe Luis and holding onto Diego Godin on an improved long-term contract has been done to protect their status among Europe's best.

Having done the hard work in the past...