Manchester City learned its fate on Thursday afternoon during the UEFA Champions League Group Stage draw. Blues supporters will be relieved that the club avoided Bayern Munich whom MCFC has been grouped with in three of the last four seasons, as well as Barcelona whom City has been eliminated from the Champions League by each of the last two seasons.
However, despite avoiding Bayern and Barca, the Blues were handed a difficult group. Juventus, last season's European runners-up and winners of Serie A four successive times will anchor Group D. Juventus and Manchester City faced off in the 2010-11 UEFA Europa League Group Stages and both matches were draws. in fact, Juve drew all six matches in the group that season and did not advance to the knockout stages.
Juventus has sold the dangerous Marco Vidal to Bayern but have to this point in the August transfer window retained Paul Pogba, who is considered by many the best young midfielder in the world.
Sevilla won last season's Europa League which yielded automatic qualification to Champions League for the first time in its history. The triumph was Sevilla's fourth triumph in Europe's second-tier competition since 2006. Now can the club step up in the the continents top-tier competition? That's a big question for the team that finished 5th in Spain last season.
Borussia Mönchengladbach rounds out the group. The club finished third in the Bundesliga last season which was improbable given the pedigree of the squad when compared to several sides that finished lower in the table. They are outsiders in this competition but clearly a formidable, rising force.
This group is the only one in the competition that features clubs from each of Europe's top four leagues as ranked by the UEFA Coefficient. It's not an easy group and it is quite possible the Blues could struggle. But absent a powerhouse like Bayern, Barca or Real Madrid, Manchester City will need to find a way to advance through this challenge. The group is difficult but no match on the fixture list looms as unwinnable or impossible.