Champions League guide to Group C: Benfica, PSG, Olympiakos, Anderlecht

Following the draw in Monaco, we guide you through the sides that make up Group C

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The Independent Football

Team-by-team guide to the sides that make up Group C in this season's Champions League...

BENFICA 

Benfica suffered extreme disappointment last season as they narrowly missed out on the Portuguese Liga to fierce rivals FC Porto by a single point and were beaten by Chelsea in the Europa League final 2-1. The Portuguese side narrowly missed out on the knockout stage of the Champions League as Celtic took second place behind Barcelona last season. Benfica also face losing their star striker Oscar Cardozo. The Paraguayan scored 26 goals in all competitions last season but has told reporters “My head is far away from Benfica."

Key player – Lima (Brazil): Lima is an out and out striker who is deadly from anywhere in the box. Lima scored 20 goals in all competitions last term.

Manager – Jorge Jesus (Portugal): Jesus has spent much of his managerial career in Portugal, and has been the Benfica manager since 2009. In that time he has won one Portuguese title and three league cups.

Champions League best finish: Champions; 1960–61, 1961–62

Did you know? The final will take place at their home ground this season; Estádio da Luz (Lisbon). 

 

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN

The money-laden Parisians begin in the group stages after winning the French league for the first time in 19 years and have had another summer of heavy investment from their Qatari owners. PSG exited the competition at the quarter-final stage last year on away goals to Barcelona after a spirited display over the two legs.

Key Player – Edinson Cavani: After his block-buster £55m French-record transfer from Napoli, much is expected of the explosive Uruguayan centre-forward

Manager – Laurent Blanc: The former France defender was not first choice for the job and has guided the French champions to two draws and one victory in Ligue 1 this season

Champions League best finish: Quarter-final 2013

 

OLYMPIAKOS

Olympiakos completed their second double in a row in 2012/2013 as a result of winning the Greek league and Greek Cup. However, they could not replicate their form in the Champions league and found themselves in European footballs second competition, The Europa League. Olympiakos went out to Levante last season and will be hoping to improve on third place in the group stage.

Key player – Rafik Djebbour (Algeria): The French born, Algeria international has been in fine form for the past two seasons, scoring 38 goals in all competitions. At 29 years old he has large amounts of Champions League experience and is one of the leaders in the squad. Olympiakos will rely on his goals if they are to make it through to the knockout phases.

Manager – Michel (Spain): Following the loss of manager Leonardo Jardim to Sporting Lisbon half way through last season, Real Madrid legend Michel was been given the managerial job at Olympiakos. Michel played for Madrid over 400 times and won both the Greek Super League and Greek Cup last season.

Champions League best finish: Quarter Finals: 1999

Did you know? Olympiakos local derby with Panathinaikos is called the derby of eternal enemies.

 

RSC ANDERLECHT

Anderlecht enter the Champions League as Belgian champions and will look to better their bottom of the group finish last time around. In a tough group which included Malaga, AC Milan and Zenit St. Petersburg, Anderlecht missed out on Europa League qualification only picking up four points.

Key Player – Aleksander Mitrovic: Brought in following the departure of star-striker Dieumerci Mbokani, the young Serbian is strong in the air and a neat finisher.

Manager – John van dem Brom: Managing his first side outside the Netherlands, he led Anderlecht to their 32 league title last year.

Champions League best finish: Semi-Final 1982,1986

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