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Juventus draw Chelsea, Zenit and Malmo in Champions League group stage

Looks like Max Allegri might have to pack a winter coat...

Udinese Calcio v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Emmanuele Ciancaglini/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The good news for Chelsea is that Fabio Quagliarella, Sebastian Giovinco and Mirko Vucinic are no longer a Juventus player.

Why? Because those were good times.

I also bring that factoid up because as we found out at Thursday night’s Champions League group stage draw, Juventus is heading to London for the first time in a few years. And to be more specific, they’ll be heading for Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea as part of the competition in Group H of the Champions League group stage. Also drawn into Juventus’ group: Zenit St. Petersburg and Malmo.

It feels like we say this a lot around here when it comes to the last handful of Champions League draws (although not all of them have worked out very well, obviously): Coulda been better, coulda been worse. This lands somewhere in the middle.

A lot like last season’s group stage draw, you’ve got the two very clear favorites to advance, a potential sleeper from Pot 3 and then the small-ish club bringing up the rear.

Now, there’s the very large elephant in the room of just what Juventus’ roster — especially in attack — will look like when they do play the first group stage after next month’s international break. And then you look at Chelsea and they have done some serious business — and continue to do so if you believe some of the rumors currently out there — as the final days of the summer transfer window arrive.

But, as we all know, the goal is clear: Get to the Champions League knockout round and then take it from there. Unfortunately for Juventus, from there things have gone very opposite to plan. We at least know the teams for the first step in the journey, and hopefully that journey lasts a little longer than the round of 16 this season. That sure would be nice.