The Champions League returns in 2021-22 with Europe’s top clubs vying for continental glory. The UCL draw has slotted 32 teams into groups to get the competition underway. Chelsea is the defending champion after defeating Manchester City 1-0 in last year’s final. Here’s a look at how Group D shapes up in this year’s Champions League.
Real Madrid: The Spanish powerhouse is the top club here with talent across the board. Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard and Casemiro headline the roster, but Thibaut Courtois might be the most important player in this group. Gareth Bale is a big wild card, but can be a game-changing player. David Alaba adds experience to the back line. Manager Carlo Ancelotti returns to Madrid, where he won the Champions League in 2013-14.
Shakhtar Donetsk: This team beat Real Madrid 3-2 in the opening match of last year’s UCL group stage and 2-0 in the return fixture, but failed to advance due to a negative goal differential despite being tied with Borussia Monchengladbach on points. If this group can play at that level consistently, there is an opportunity to get out of the group.