Benfica, Ajax and AEK Athens

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Bayern face a tough but attractive task in the preliminary stage of this season’s Champions League after the 2013 winners were drawn to play Benfica, Ajax and AEK Athens in Group E.

The draw for the first stage of Europe’s elite club competition was made at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco on Thursday evening, and conducted on this occasion by former international stars Kaká and Diego Forlán.

As Bundesliga champions, Bayern were in pot one and were placed in Group E by Forlán, ambassador for this season's final venue of the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid. Interestingly, all three of FCB's group opponents only qualified this week via the play-offs. Portuguese giants Benfica saw off PAOK, Ajax overcame Dynamo Kyiv and Greek champions AEK knocked out Hungarian side Vidi.

Group stage overview:

Matchday 1: 18/19 September
Matchday 2: 2/3 October
Matchday 3: 23/24 October
Matchday 4: 6/7 November
Matchday 5: 27/28 November
Matchday 6: 11/12 December

More to follow.

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