Bayern Munich draw Villarreal, Manchester City and Napoli in Champions League Group A

The finalists in 2010 have landed an intriguing group in Thursday's draw in Monaco, including Champions League debutants Manchester City, with none of the four teams league winners
Bayern Munich have been drawn to face Villarreal, Manchester City and Napoli in the Champions League group stage.

Here is the lowdown on each of the teams competing in Group A:

BAYERN
MUNICH
SEASON 2010-11
League:
Third
Europe: Champions League last 16
Coach: Jupp Heynckes

Appointed: 2011

Stadium:
Allianz Arena

Capacity:
69,901

Best Champions League performance:
Winners four times (1974, 1975, 1976, 2001)
THE DANGER MAN
Arjen Robben

When fit, the Dutch winger is one of the very best players in the world, and certainly the most dangerous in Jupp Heynckes' squad. Robben carried his team to the final two seasons ago, including stunning goals against Fiorentina and Manchester United, and if he remains healthy, he could set the tournament alight again in 2011-12.

Clark Whitney, Goal.com German Football Editor

“Bayern Munich were drawn in the so-called ‘Group of Death’, but the Germans have the best pedigree in Group A, and will be favoured to progress. Their new-look defence will come under fire from three sides that have an excess of class in attack, but the key for Bayern lies in the midfield and their own attack, which have an edge over the competition. The Germans are extremely adept at keeping the ball, and with a vastly improved back five, ought to build on their positive group stage campaigns from the last two seasons.”

VILLARREAL
SEASON 2010-11
League:
Fourth
Europe: Europa League semi-finalists
Coach: Juan Carlos Garrido

Appointed: 2010

Stadium:
El Madrigal

Capacity:
25,000

Best Champions League performance:
Semi-finalists (2006)
THE DANGER MAN
Giuseppe Rossi

The Italy forward came of age in 2010-11, scoring 32 times as Villarreal finished fourth and reached the semi-finals of the Europa League, where they lost out to eventual winners Porto. Rossi hit 11 goals in Europe and with midfielder Santi Cazorla having joined Malaga, the club’s hopes will rest largely on his shoulders.

Ben Hayward, Goal.com Spanish Football Editor

“Villarreal have been drawn in the toughest sector of all, Group A, which features teams from all four of Europe’s strongest leagues. Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Napoli all stand in the way of progress for the Yellow Submarine in the Spanish side’s third group-stage appearance. In the previous two, however, the club reached the semi-finals and then the last eight. Last year’s Europa League semi-finalists have also retained the services of Italy striker Giuseppe Rossi, one of the most feared forwards in the modern game. So while Bayern and City may seem favourites, betting against Villarreal would be unwise.”

MANCHESTER
CITY
SEASON 2010-11
League:
Third
Europe: Europa League last 16
Manager: Roberto Mancini

Appointed: 2009

Stadium:
Etihad Stadium

Capacity:
47,726

Best Champions League performance:
First round (1968)
THE DANGER MAN
Sergio Aguero

City as a club may be Champions League group debutants, but their squad has plenty of experience at this level dotted through the ranks. Aguero hit occasional heights in this competition with Atletico Madrid - he will need to be far more consistent for City, but his supporting cast is also significantly more accomplished.

Greg Stobart, Goal.com UK Northern Correspondent

“Manchester City will feel they have avoided a 'group of death' but the Champions League debutants have still been given a tricky draw. Roberto Mancini's side will face Bayern Munich, Villarreal and fellow new boys Napoli in Group A. City will feel pleased to have avoided one of the giants in Pot 1 as four-time European champions Bayern don't carry the same fear factor as in years past. However, City have been given no banker games and can expect tough fixtures, especially in their three games away from home. You can be sure Diego Maradona will be in the stands to watch his son-in-law Sergio Aguero play against Napoli, who boast in their ranks one of Mancini's favourite players in Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani.”

NAPOLI
SEASON 2010-11
League:
Third
Europe: Europa League last 16
Coach: Walter Mazzarri

Appointed: 2009

Stadium:
San Paolo

Capacity:
60,240

Best Champions League performance:
Last 16 (1988, 1991)
THE DANGER MAN
Ezequiel Lavezzi

It was the 33 goals of Edinson Cavani which made the difference for the Azzurri last season, but he would have scored far less but for the impact of Lavezzi. His magical skills and probing runs were behind many of the side's better moments last season, and it will be imperative for opponents to stop him.

Kris Voakes, Goal.com Italian Football Editor

“Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis must wonder what he has done wrong. After jumping on a random passer-by's moped after the Serie A draw in disgust at his club's bad luck, he will be no more happy with the task that lies ahead of his side. They and Villarreal may struggle to take on the bigger names and bigger budgets of Bayern Muncih and Manchester City, but their San Paolo crowd will be more than ready to help make things difficult for their big name rivals. They will also be looking for revenge on the Spaniards, having suffered a Europa League exit at El Madrigal earlier this year.”