The Champions League draw is out. The Daily Mail:” Chelsea face a fiery Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid in a devilish twist to the Diego Costa saga.
While Tottenham fared worst of the five Premier League clubs by being drawn in Group H with Real Madrid, Chelsea landed in Group C along with Atletico, Roma and Qarabag of Azerbaijan.
It is a challenging pool for Antonio Conte’s Chelsea and the standout fixtures will see them face Atletico. Chelsea striker Costa is refusing to return from Brazil while demanding to be allowed to rejoin his former club in Madrid.
It will add a dash of spice to the matches, though Costa — signed from Atletico for £32million in 2014 — would not be eligible to play even if a deal was agreed as the Spanish club must serve a transfer ban until January 1.
Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool landed favourable draws but Tottenham face a huge challenge in Group H against champions Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Apoel of Cyprus.
It pits Spurs against Gareth Bale for the first time since his £86m move to Real in 2013 as well as a tie with Dortmund, who hammered Mauricio Pochettino’s side 5-1 on aggregate in the Europa League in 2016. Real, for their part, beat Tottenham 5-0 over two legs the last time they made it out of the group stage, in 2011.
But they will be without Dele Alli for their first three games — including Real at the Bernabeu — after he was sent off in last season’s Europa League tie against Gent.
Spurs striker Harry Kane said: ‘It’s a great draw. You expect to play the best in Europe in the Champions League. You want to test yourself against the best and Real are the best.
‘I remember the game against them at the Lane in 2011. I’m sure Wembley will be packed for the matches and we can’t wait to get started.’
United are in Group A after qualifying as Europa League winners. They face Benfica, whom they beat to win the European Cup in 1968.
They also have a rematch with Basle, who caused a major upset by beating them in the group stage in 2011 when United crashed out of a group that also included Benfica.
Perhaps the most challenging assignment for United manager Jose Mourinho will be the 3,000-mile round trip to Russia to face CSKA Moscow.
Manchester City go up against Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli and Feyenoord in Group F, while Liverpool — who beat Hoffenheim in a play-off to reach this stage — face Spartak Moscow, Sevilla and Maribor of Slovenia in Group E.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: ‘To be part of the draw is really special. With Sevilla, we all know how good they are in Europe. Moscow is a long trip and Maribor… you don’t know a lot about them. People would underestimate them. We will not.’
Klopp added: ‘We need to make sure that Anfield is a really difficult hill to climb for other teams. We are not the favourite in the group — we are just a challenger. ‘
Celtic were given a dreadful draw against Bayern Munich in Group B, along with big-spending Paris Saint-Germain and Anderlecht. Barcelona will face Juventus in Group D.
As part of the draw ceremony in Monaco, Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to win the UEFA Best Player in Europe award three times as gained the prize for the 2016-17 campaign.
He beat Barcelona star Lionel Messi and Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, while Real team-mates Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric soon joined him as Defender of the Year and Midfielder of the Year.