Porto draw Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit St Petersburg and APOEL Nicosia in Champions League Group G

Thursday's draw in Monaco brought an intriguing group for the Europa League holders, with Ukrainian and Russian opponents as well as the Cypriot outsiders
Europa League holders will look to repeat their feat of 2004 by transforming that success into a Champions League triumph this season, and face Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit St Petersburg and APOEL Nicosia in the group phase.

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

PORTO
SEASON 2010-11
League:
Champions
Europe: Europa League winnners
Manager: Vitor Pereira

Appointed: 2011

Stadium:
Estadio do Dragao

Capacity:
52,399

Best Champions League performance:
Winners twice (1987, 2004)
THE DANGER MAN
Hulk

With Radamel Falcao out of the club and a replacement for the Colombian yet to be found, it is up to the powerful Brazilian to spearhead Porto's attack in all competitions. Hulk is topping the league's scoring charts already, with three goals from two matches, and his efforts show he is determined to make the fans forget Falcao.

Luis Mira, Goal.com Portuguese Football Editor

“Porto will be more than happy with the outcome of the draw, having avoided the likes of AC Milan and Lyon from Pot 2, as they will lock horns with Shakhtar. The Portuguese champions will take on a combative side from Pot 3 in the form of Zenit St Petersburg, but will be pleased to meet APOEL, whom they beat twice in the 2009-10 Champions League group stages. All in all, the draw was quite friendly for Porto, and anything other than a first-placed finish should come as a surprise.”

SHAKHTAR DONETSK
SEASON 2010-11
League:
Champions
Europe: Champions League quarter-finalists
Manager: Mircea Lucescu

Appointed: 2004

Stadium:
Donbass Arena

Capacity:
51,504

Best Champions League performance:
Quarter-finalists (2011)
THE DANGER MAN
Jadson

It's not easy to pick the best Brazilian in Shakhtar's ranks, but 27-year-old was the only one to make the Selecao squad at Copa America. A very versatile playmaker, with a great shot from various ranges, Jadson was at the heart of all Donetsk titles in the last seven years, including a man of the match performance and winning goal in the Uefa Cup final versus Werder Bremen in 2009.


ZENIT
SEASON 2010-11
League:
Champions
Europe: Europa League Last 16
Coach: Luciano Spalletti

Appointed: 2009

Stadium:
Petrovsky Stadium

Capacity:
21,504

Best Champions League performance:
Group Stage (2008-09)
THE DANGER MAN
Danny

The insatiable hub of Zenit’s attack, the Portuguese attacker's dynamism is what binds the front and back of Luciano Spalletti’s side together. Blessed with searing acceleration and the ability to play off either foot, his imagination and relentless work, both on and off the ball, are vital to his side’s chances.


APOEL
NICOSIA
SEASON 2010-11
League:
Champions
Europe: Europa League play-off round
Manager: Ivan Jovanovic

Appointed: 2008

Stadium:
GSP Stadium

Capacity:
22,859

Best Champions League performance:
Group stage (2009-10)
THE DANGER MAN
Constantinos Charalambides

Ailton and Esteban Solari may be the main goalscoring threat for APOEL, but if they are to trouble Europe's elite, it is their midfield fulcrum Charalambides who will have to take control. Back at the club where he began his career, he was key to their league success last season and also their previous Champions League appearance.