Team-by-team guide to the sides that make up Group F in this season's Champions League...
Finishing fourth in the Premier League landed Arsenal a Champions League qualifying match against Fenerbache, which they breezed through 5-0 on aggregate. The English side are without a trophy since their 2005 FA Cup triumph but have had relative success in the Champions League, advancing past the first group stage for every year since 2000. Arsene Wenger’s side will have their confidence boosted by their resounding qualifying victory.
Key Player – Jack Wilshere: The combative midfielder is a talented playmaker and, if he stays injury-free, could play a crucial part in the club’s Champions League campaign.
Manager – Arsene Wenger: Now the longest serving manager in the English Premier League, Wenger has faced criticism for his shrewd transfer dealings of late.
Champions League best finish: Runners-Up 2006
The Ligue 1 runners-up feature in the group stage of the Champions League following an unsuccessful Europa League campaign last season, finishing third in their group. The nine-time French champions are without a European trophy since their UEFA Intertoto Cup victory in 2005.
Key Player – Steve Mandanda: The French goalkeeper is entering his seventh season with Marseille and remains a stalwart between the sticks for them .
Manager – Elie Baup: Began his coaching career in 1994 with French side Saint-Etienne and starts his first season in charge of a side in the Champions League.
Champions League best finish: Winners 1993
Champions League and Bundesliga runners-up Borussia Dortmund lost out to a late Arjen Robben goal in the Wembley final in May against German rivals Bayern Munich. Dortmund reached the final by defeating the likes of Ajax, Malaga and Real Madrid along the way. Losing midfielder Mario Gotze to their rivals has done little to dampen their form as they have recorded three wins from their opening three games in the Bundesliga so far.
Key Player – Robert Lewandowski: After a summer move to Bayern Munich fell-through, the Polish forward has settled his differences with the club and will spearhead their attack this year.
Manager – Jurgen Klopp: Charismatic German manager is embarking on his fifth season with Dortmund and is famed for his fiery touchline demeanour.
Champions League best finish: Champions; 1997
In recent seasons, Napoli have re-emerged as a true force in Italian football. Last season they ousted Inter Milan and AC Milan to a second placed finish behind Juventus and also came runners up in the Italian Cup. However, although the team have strengthened this summer with players such as Higuain, Reina, Albiol and Callejon, the loss of League top scorer Edinson Cavani to PSG could prove decisive.
Key player – Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina): Higuain is a genuine goal scorer and has a proven record during his time at Real Madrid. However, filling the shoes of Edinson Cavani will be a huge task and he will rely on players such as Callejon and Mertens to lighten the load.
Manager – Rafa Benitez (Spain): Benitez’s preious work at both Liverpool and Chelsea is extremely well known. He won the Champions League in 2005 and The Europa League last term. Benitez will be looking to forget the ‘interim’ manager saga behind and Napoli could be a genuine force in the competition this year.
Champions League best finish: Round of 16: 2012
Did you know? Higuain required stitches this week after falling on some rocks whilst on a boating trip.
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