Slavia Prague delegates burst out laughing as club is drawn in Champions League group of death


Slavia Prague delegates began chuckling as they discovered their Champions League fate (Picture: BT Sport)

Slavia Prague’s delegates could only laugh when they were placed in the Champions League group of death – and can you really blame them?

Europe’s elite clubs eagerly awaited their fate at a star-studded event in Monaco on Thursday evening and the draw threw up countless mouth-watering ties to look forward to over the coming months.

Liverpool, looking to defend their 2018/19 title, were grouped with Napoli, Genk and Salzburg and Chelsea were handed a tough draw against Ajax, Valencia and Lille in Group H.

Last season’s runners-up Spurs were drawn against Bayern Munich, Olympiacos and Red Star Belgrade in Group B, while Premier League champions Manchester City will take on Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta in Group C.

However, much of the talk on the night surrounded Group F which includes Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan and… Slavia Prague.

The Czech champions only qualified on Wednesday when they beat CFR Cluj of Romania 1-0 as Jan Boril’s goal secured a 2-0 aggregate victory.

Their delegates’ reaction to being drawn against three of Europe’s heavyweights was truly priceless. If you don’t laugh you’ll cry, eh lads?

For the second successive year, Liverpool and Napoli were drawn together at the group stage and Klopp is looking forward to facing the Serie A club once again.

Last term, Liverpool lost 1-0 in Naples before beating their Italian opposition with the same scoreline on Merseyside.

Asked for his reaction to Liverpool’s draw, Klopp told the club’s official website: ‘Napoli again! I don’t know how often I’ve now played against Napoli, but they’re obviously a very experienced side.

‘I will need now to have another, closer look at Genk and Salzburg, but I already know they are very young, very exciting and very fresh, so it will be interesting, 100 per cent. I don’t think I’ve ever played against Salzburg or Genk, so that’s interesting.

‘It’s how it always is, it’s not an easy group and not a group where we can hide behind anybody. We have to try everything to go through, but we are really looking forward to it like always.

Liverpool will be looking to defend their 2018/19 title (Picture: Getty)

‘Now we know the opponents, when we were walking off the pitch from training I immediately spoke with Divock [Origi] about playing Genk!

‘We will do our analysis and research on all three teams, but we know they all played exceptional seasons last year.

‘Of course, Salzburg are famous for bringing through new players, like they did with Sadio [Mane] and Naby [Keita] – they’ve found a lot of others, too. It will be really interesting.’

Frank Lampard’s side take on Ajax, Valencia and Lille in Group H (Picture: Getty)

Petr Cech, now Chelsea’s technical and performance advisor, believes ‘everybody can beat everybody’ in their group.

On being drawn against Ajax, Valencia and Lille, Cech said: ‘It’s not an easy group because it’s a very even group.

‘All the teams have a lot of quality. It’s one of those groups where everybody can beat everybody and this makes it very interesting.

‘But we can be satisfied with the draw. We avoided long travels so that’s one of the positives.’

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