Last week’s UEFA Champions League draw has caused considerable disappointment for Monaco fans, pitting the French Ligue 1 side in Group A alongside two strong teams, Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. Bruges makes up the group.
Last year, AS Monaco finished last in their pool, and with such strong opponents this time round, few Monaco supporters are expecting easy wins.
The fixtures for Monaco are:
- Monaco – Atlético Madrid, 18 September (21:00)
- Borussia Dortmund – AS Monaco, 3 October (21:00)
- FC Bruges – AS Monaco, 24 October (18:55)
- AS Monaco – FC Bruges, 6 November (18:55)
- Atlético Madrid – AS Monaco, 28 November (18:55)
- AS Monaco – Borussia Dortmund, 11 December (21:00)
Arch-rivals Paris Saint-Germain will play in Group C: Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli, Liverpool, Red Star Belgrade.
The Round of 16 draw will take place on December 17, with the first legs to be played on February 12/13 and 19/20, and the second legs on March 5/6 and 12/13. The draw for the Quarter-finals will be on March 15, with the first legs on April 9/10 and second legs on April 16/17. The draw for the semi-finals will be on March 15, with the first legs son April 30/May 1, and the second on May 7/8.
The final will be played on June 1 at the Estadio Metropolitano, Madrid.
Among the pundits who believe that the Atletico Madrid side that won the Uefa Super Cup at the expense of Real Madrid will be too hot for the remaining teams is former Nigerian international Yisa Shofoluwe.
“Atletico Madrid will have an easy ride qualifying from the group,” he told Goal.
Shofoluwe said that since Monaco had become “a selling club”, their chances of making it past the pool are poor. He tipped Dortmund for the second slot.
Last year Monaco beat Dortmund at home 3-1 to win a place in the semi-finals draw, and at the time Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim said his team was not among the favourites for Champions League success. There is no reason to believe he has changed his views.
018/19 UEFA Champions League group stage
- Group A: Atlético Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Monaco, Club Brugge
- Group B: Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur, PSV Eindhoven, Internazionale Milano
- Group D: Lokomotiv Moskva, Porto, Schalke, Galatasaray
- Group E: Bayern München, Benfica, Ajax, AEK Athens
- Group F: Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon, Hoffenheim
- Group G: Real Madrid, Roma, CSKA Moskva, Viktoria Plzeň
- Group H: Juventus, Manchester United, Valencia, Young Boys