The top seeds in Group H, Josep Guardiola's side are looking to become the first team to win the competition in successive seasons since Milan in 1989 and 1990, while FC Bayern München are targeting a place in the final at their home stadium, the Fußball Arena München, on Saturday 19 May 2012. If they are to reach the knockout phase, they must finish in the top two in Group A, which also features Villarreal CF, Manchester City FC and SSC Napoli.
Before helping to conduct the draw, UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino reminded clubs of the importance of being "united in our fight against match-fixing". He added: "Unfortunately, we have witnessed all too clearly the destructive effect that corruption can have on our sport and recent events have shown that it can reach all levels.
"There is no other solution than a zero-tolerance policy in order to protect the integrity and the beauty of this wonderful competition. This is a fight that together we can and will win − all together."
He also heralded another innovation in the competition, saying: "This year also marks the beginning of the financial fair play regulations. Working hand-in-hand together with you, the clubs, we will apply these new rules strictly in order to guarantee the sustainability and future of our club game. Dear clubs, your support has been essential until now and will be paramount for the future."
The group stage fixtures will be played on 13/14 September, 27/28 September, 18/19 October, 1/2 November, 22/23 November and 6/7 December – view the full schedule. The section winners and runners-up will progress to the round of 16 in the spring. Teams finishing third in each section will transfer to the UEFA Europa League round of 32.
2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage