That was the outcome of the draw held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco on Thursday evening. Bayer 04 CEO Michael Schade was in the Principality representing the club.
“It’s an interesting group and there are no clear favourites,” said Schade after the draw. “Tottenham is probably the most attractive draw for our fans. At the same the quality of all the opponents presents us with a great challenge. But one thing is clear: the Round of 16 is the target for all of us.”
Bayer 04 sporting director Rudi Völler declared: “It’s definitely the most evenly balanced of all the groups and anything’s possible. In Monaco from pot four we’ve been drawn against one of the toughest opponents. Tottenham are very strong, and Moscow are the Russian champions. But we go into the group stage in optimistic mood. We want to go through.”
Bayer 04 head coach Roger Schmidt takes a similar view: “It’s a very balanced group exactly as it was in 2014/15. We ended up second back then. And now our aim is to go through the group stage to get to the Round of 16.”
CSKA Moscow: The team coached by Leonid Slutski have won the Russian league title three times in the past four years including last season. CSKA Moscow celebrated their biggest success in 2005 when they became the first Russian club to win the UEFA Cup. In the past three Champions League campaigns the seven-time Russian champions have played German teams Bayern Munich (2013/14, 2014/15) and VfL Wolfsburg (2015/16) in the group stage but they went out each time and this season does not look any easier. During the current season in Russia CSKA have had to deal with departure of top goalscorer Ahmed Musa (for 19.5 million euros to Leicester City) and loanee Aaron Olanare. The transfer money received has not been used to strengthen the squad and the champions are currently relying on loan deals with the option to buy including the winger Aleksey Ionov (Dynamo) and striker Lacina Traore (Monaco). The new ‘Arena CSKA’ due to open soon will have a capacity of 30,000.
Tottenham Hotspur: Last season the Premier League side from north London were the main challengers to the eventual champions Leicester City but they ended the season in a surprising third place that saw them qualify for the Champions League group stage. After many years in the Europa League, where the team were knocked out by Borussia Dortmund in the Round of 16, the two-time champions of England are in the Champions League for a second time. Spurs have their coach Mauricio Pochettino to thank in his third season with the eight-time F.A. Cup winners for assembling an impressive squad. Last season’s impressive performances have made a number of players the focus of attention from other clubs. Tottenham have one of the best goalkeepers in the world in their first team in the shape of the experienced Hugo Lloris (29). However, the French shot-stopper is sidelined with a thigh injury until the middle of September. Team-mates of the France international include former Bayer 04 forward Heung-Min Son (24) plus former FC Köln player Kevin Wimmer (23). White Hart Lane (36,284 capacity) is the home ground of Tottenham Hotspur. In 2006/07 Bayer 04 played Tottenham in the UEFA Cup losing the group match at BayArena by the only goal of the game.
AS Monaco: AS Monaco are now a familiar face for Bayer 04 in the Champions League: The Werkself last played the team from the Principality in 2014/15. Bayer 04 lost both legs in the group stage 1-0. The 1997/98 campaign also saw the Werkself unable to beat ‘Les Rouges et Blanc’. A 4-0 defeat at the Stade Louis II followed a 2-2 draw in Leverkusen. AS Monaco were third in France’s Ligue 1 last term. The team coached by Leonardo Jardim are sixth in the league after the first two matchdays. Monaco beat Fenerbahce in the third qualifying round of the Champions League (1-2, 3-1) and they knocked out Villarreal in the play-offs. Fabinho and Bernardo Silva scored the goals in the 2-1 win in the first leg in Spain and Fabinho netted the winner in the 1-0 victory in the return leg. The seven-time French champions and five time Cup winners play their home games at the Stade Louis II with its capacity of 18,500. The most well known players for AS Monaco, Champions League finalists in 2004 (a 3-0 defeat against FC Porto), include the Portugal international and European Champions Joao Moutinho and Ricardo Carvalho plus the Colombia striker Falcao.
Matchday 1, 14 September: Bayer 04 v CSKA Moscow
Matchday 2, 27 September: AS Monaco v Bayer 04
Matchday 3, 18 October: Bayer 04 v Tottenham Hotspur
Matchday 4, 2 November: Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04
Matchday 5, 22 November: CSKA Moscow v Bayer 04
Matchday 6, 7 December: Bayer 04 v AS Monaco
Information on ticket packages:
Ticket packages go on sale to Club members (10 per cent cheaper compared with match ticket price) on Friday 26 August at 10.00 CET. Tickets go on open sale on Monday 29 August at 10.00 CET. Further info available here
Information on the start of match ticket sales (individual tickets) will be announced on Friday 26 August. Model 2 season ticket holders will have all three home games automatically activated on their cards with a 20 per cent discount. Further info available here.
The annual Black and Red Week is drawing to a close. And day 04, on Sunday 26 November, brings you an exclusive offer on Bayer 04 membership…Show more
The annual Black and Red Week is here. And day three on Saturday 25 November brings discounted tickets for the two home games against SC Paderborn 07 (DFB-Pokal Round of 16) and Molde FK (UEFA Europa League) plus an offer on the Werkself away shirt…Show more
Bayer 04 and Werder Bremen meet for the 85th time in the Bundesliga on Saturday 25 November (kick-off: 15.30 CET). The overall record is still in favour of Werder Bremen (27 wins, 34 draws, 20 defeats) but the Werkself are ahead in terms of goal difference (134 to 127). And the Green and Whites have only won one of the last 12 games against the Black and Reds. The lowdown on our next opponents.Show more
Bayer 04 are again participating in the Orange Your City campaign on this year's International Day For the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The BayArena will be floodlit in orange from 17.002 23.00 CET on 25 November.Show more