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Sports News of Friday, 27 August 2021


Chelsea can defend Champions League title with Lukaku back - Michael Essien

Essien (second right) was part of the group draw for the 2021/2022 UCL season Essien (second right) was part of the group draw for the 2021/2022 UCL season

Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien has tipped his former side Chelsea to defend the Champions League title they won last year against Manchester City.

The West London side won their second Champions League title last season after beating Manchester City 1-0 in Lisbon with a strike from Kai Havertz.

Essien helped Chelsea lift their first ever title in 2012 when the blues defeated Bayern Munich at their own back yard at the Allianz Arena.

Speaking during the draw which he helped conduct, the former Chelsea icon says his former side have a big squad with very good players and the inclusion of Lukaku can be the difference.

"They have a big squad. Having [Romelu] Lukaku back again, they are well prepared, and hopefully, we can win it [again]." He said on Thursday at the Champions League group stage draw.

The Ghanaian midfielder played for Chelsea from 2005 till 2014 making over 160 appearances for the blues and winning several titles conducted the draw with former teammate Branislav Ivanovic.

Chelsea will  face Juventus, Manchester City will face Messi-inspired PSG, while Bayern Munich come up against Barcelona and Atletico Madrid take on familiar faces Liverpool.


Group A: Manchester City (ENG), PSG (FRA), RB Leipzig (GER), Club Brugge (BEL)

Group B: Atletico Madrid (ESP), Liverpool (ENG), FC Porto (POR), AC Milan (ITA)

Group C: Sporting CP (POR), Borussia Dortmund (GER), Ajax (NED), Besiktas (TUR)

Group D: Inter Milan (ITA), Real Madrid (ESP), Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), Sheriff (MDA)

Group E: Bayern Munich (GER), Barcelona (ESP), Benfica (POR), Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)

Group F: Villarreal (ESP), Manchester United (ENG), Atalanta (ITA), Young Boys (SUI)

Group G: Lille (FRA), Sevilla (ESP), FC Salzburg (AUS), Wolfsburg (GER)

Group H: Chelsea (ENG), Juventus (ITA), Zenit (RUS), Malmo (SWE)