Barca, AC Milan paired in CL group stage

Reigning European champion and four- time winner AC Milan were placed into Group H 12 Champions League.

While Barca and AC Milan were placed with Belarus side BATE and Czech Republic side Viktoria Plzen for the two knockout round spots from the group, Group A - highlighted by Bayern Munich - is the clear "Group of Death."

Four-time winner Bayern, which will host the 2012 final, was drawn along with Villarreal, Manchester City and Napoli. The group is the only one featuring a club from each of Europe's top leagues.

Although Villarreal and City lack the history of Bayern, they both rank as one the best clubs in Spain and England, respectively. Napoli was third in Italy last season.

Three-time winner Inter Milan, which last won in 2010, was placed into Group B along with CSKA Moscow, Lille and Trabzonspor.

Three-time winner Manchester United, which has reached three of the last four finals, is in Group C along with two-time winner Benfica, Basel and Otelul.

Record nine-time champion Real Madrid highlights Group C, which also includes Lyon, four-time winner Ajax and Dinamo Zagreb.

Chelsea, which lost the 2008 final to Manchester United in penalties, slotted into Group E, along with two-time runner-up Valencia, one-time runner-up Bayer Leverkusen and Genk.

Arsenal secured its passage into group play on Wednesday, and is atop Group F, which includes one-time winners Marseille and Borussia Dortmund, which won in 1997 when the final was in Munich, and Olympiacos.

Two-time winner FC Porto was placed in Group G, along with Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit and APOEL.