Champions League Draw: Man City face Ronaldo and Celtic take on Messi
It's become one of the big rituals of the modern football season - the draw for the Champions League group stage. Yesterday five British clubs were in the hat (glass bowls really, but it doesn't sound right).
Three clubs - Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United- were seeded to the first pot. Ironically, due to UEFA's infamous co-efficient, Premier League title holders Manchester City lurked in the lower pots with Celtic.
And being in that second pot has delivered Manchester City the really difficult task that their fans feared. They get the excitement of a visit from the favourites Real Madrid but adding in Ajax and the dangerous Borussia Dortmund leaves a tough ask. It's a rough break as Roberto Mancini's side were placed in a hard section last season too.
By contrast their neighbours Manchester United have a better draw. All their group members will be stubborn opponents but failure to get past Sporting Braga, Galatasaray and CF CLuj would be counted as a disaster.
The draw with the Turkish side brings back memories of legendary clashes back in the 1990s and 'Welcome to Hell' signs. The Istanbul club peaked with their UEFA Cup triumph in 2000 and aren't quite as formidable these days.
Arsenal always seem to end up in an opening group that is what can be termed middle ranking for difficulty. Schalke, Olympiacos and Montpellier would seem to be harder than United's task but preferable to City's.
The Greek side are regular participants but always struggle to win away from Greece and Montpellier are novices at this level. Big spending Schalke with the prolific Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will be expected to dispute top spot, but Arsene Wenger will be confident.
Holders Chelsea have been given the second hardest task of the English quartet. They have the awkward situation of a lop sided group where one of the clubs is expected to be a makeweight - in this case FC Nordsjaelland.
But the Blues still have to get past the extremely hard to beat Juventus and a Shakhtar Donetsk side who have become regular contenders in the Champions League group stages. There are two very tough away trips to negotiate and a necessity to avoid any slip ups against the Danish side.
Finally, Celtic knew a place in Pot Four would inevitably put the Hoops in a potential Group of Death. Their fans will enjoy locking horns with Barcelona but qualification isn't impossible past Benfica and Spartak Moscow - both are strong opposition but not frightening. There's added spice with the presence of former Celtic star Aiden McGeady featuring on the wing for the Russian side.
So five teams in action and the chances of all five going through are slim. Celtic will begin as underdogs and both Manchester City and Chelsea have work to do to make it to the knockout stages, but Manchester United and Arsenal should have relatively smooth passages.
Calling all Arsenal, Celtic, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United fans: How confident are you of getting through your group? Who has the toughest ask, Celtic, Chelsea or City? Can any of the British clubs win the trophy at Wembley in May? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.
Who will win the Champions League? See who our panel of pundits and esteemed guests thought before the draw was announced here