The Champions League draw took place and produced the following groups
GROUP A: Benfica, Manchester United, FC Basle, CSKA Moscow
Manchester United have been installed as odds on favourites to win the group and it is 11/4 bar them and Benfica qualifying.
Although United have to travel to Moscow, Mourinho will be the happiest of the Premier League managers.Mourinho has lost one of his previous seven competitive meetings with Benfica as a manager.
GROUP B: Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Anderlecht, Celtic
Bayern and PSG are prohibitive favourites to qualify as Celtic have been handed a very tough task. Third place in the group and a route into the Europa League is a realistic aim.
GROUP C: Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Roma, Qarabag
A tricky group as Atletico are renowned Champions league performers and Chelsea and Roma will harbour realistic ambitions of winning the group too. Chelsea are odds on favourites to win the group, Roma at an interesting 5/1
The most eye-catching moment of the draw in Monaco was when Atlético were placed alongside Chelsea. Costa remains on strike, with Chelsea and Atlético yet to agree on a fee and the 28-year-old accusing Conte of treating him like a “criminal.”
Even if Costa gets his wish, the striker will not face Chelsea as he could not play for Atlético until January under the terms of the Spanish club’s transfer embargo.
GROUP D: Juventus, Barcelona, Olympiacos, Sporting Lisbon
Juventus, runners up in two of the last three years and Barcelona should be expected to dominate this group. It is 40/1 bar the front two winning this group.
GROUP E: Spartak Moscow, Sevilla, Liverpool, Maribor
Liverpool made it through final qualifying into a group they will hope to qualify from. They met Sevilla in the Europa League final in 2016.It is 10/1 bar Liverpool or Sevilla winning the group.
GROUP F: Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester City, Napoli, Feyenoord
A kind draw for Manchester Cty against the weakest looking top seed and they are 4/6 favourites to win it, Napoli 6/4, 12/1 bar
GROUP G: Monaco, Porto, Besiktas, RB Leipzig
This is one of the more open looking groups. Monaco are favourites with Leipzig and Porto 3/1 or shorter. Besiktas are 8/1 outsiders to win the group.
GROUP H: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham, Apoel
A tough task for Tottenham. Mauricio Pochettino’s team will have to face Real, who last season became the first team to defend the Champions League successfully, and 2013 finalists Dortmund. Apoel finish Group H, which means a 4½-hour flight to Cyprus. With Real 1-2 to win the group, Dortmund and Tottenham are 5/1 joint second favourites to win it and both 10/11 to qualify.
Outright odds ahead of the group stages are:
Real Madrid 4/1
Bayern Munich 7/1
Manchester City 12/1
Manchester United 12/1
At this stage, where is the value? The PSG spending spree has seen their price plummet such that they are now joint second favourites, whilst it remains a stretch to tip the English sides. Barcelona look to be in a transitional season and Juventus have lost a defensive lynchpin in Bonucci. It looks to be between Real and Bayern to me, and Real going for their fourth Champions League title in five years look the deserved favourites at 4/1 and should be so whilst Ronaldo is at his peak.