CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Ajax get tough draw

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The Eredivisie defending champions Ajax have been drawn into the glamour group along with Barcelona, AC Milan and Glasgow Celtic.

20130818 - Ajax 2-1 Feyenoord

Progress from Group H will be a tough task for Frank de Boer’s side, especially after the impending departures of Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld this week.

The group is highlighted by Lionel Messi’s Barcelona, who will look to re-establish their European dominance under the new leadership of Argentine coach Gerardo Martino. It will be up to the new boss to guide the Blaugrana past Scottish champions Celtic. Neil Lennon’s side memorably upset Barca 2-1 in last season’s group stage last November with a dramatic late goal from Tony Watt.

PSV’s playoff conquers AC Milan will face Barca in a repeat of last year’s last sixteen clash, where the Spanish giants roared back from a 2-0 first leg loss to score four goals in the second leg and win 4-2 on aggregate.

The Group Stage matches will take place over the course of six matchdays beginning September 17th and concluding on December 11th. The top two teams from each Group will move on to the Round of 16, while the third place side will drop into the Europa League and the fourth placed club will be eliminated from European competition.

The Round of 16 will be played over two legs in February and March 2014, with the winners continuing on to a two-legged Quarterfinal in early April. The winners will march on to the Semifinals, which will be played in late April, before the winners head to the final at the Estadio de Luz in Lisbon, Portugal on May 24th, 2014.

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WillBurns

Click the name above to follow Will on Twitter.

TotalDutchFootball.com    WorldFootballWeekly.com

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