2023-09-02 · 4 min read · UEFA Champions League/Soccer
Champions league teams

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The 2023/24 season is already several weeks in, but one major starting point remains – the Champions League group stage draw. The draw finally took place this afternoon and as always, it did not disappoint.
We have numerous clubs making an appearance again, most notably Newcastle and Arsenal, while some new faces took center stage in Union Berlin and Real Sociedad. As always, we have mouth-watering matchups and some predictable groups. This year’s group of deaths however is lining up to be one for the ages. Here is a breakdown and preview of each group.
Group A
FC Bayern Munich
Manchester United
F.C. Copenhagen
Bayern Munich and Manchester United have a rich history in the Champions League and one of the most memorable finals in the tournament. United have had a slow start to the season but they have time to find their form. Galatasaray are one of the strongest teams to come out of Pot 4 as well making this one of the tougher groups.
Bayern and Man Utd move on, Galatasaray finish third and qualify for Europa League.
Group B
Sevilla FC
PSV Eindhoven
RC Lens
Making their return to the Champions League, Arsenal could not be happier with their draw. Most teams from Pot 2 would be happy drawing Sevilla from the top pot, the Gunnars included. Sevilla has an outstanding record in the Europa League but has not been able to transition that to the Champions League. RC Lens meanwhile were the surprise team of Ligue 1 last season and it will be interesting to see if they can continue to grow.
Arsenal and RC Lens move on; Sevilla go to Europe League (and probably win it again).
Group C
SSC Napoli
Real Madrid
Sc Braga
Union Berlin
There was one team from the second pot that all teams wanted to avoid – Real Madrid. Unfortunately for Napoli they will have to take down the most successful club in history. Can they? Yes. Will they? I doubt it. Something tells me the Italian champions will have a difficult time replicating the success they had last year.
Real Madrid and Napoli advance, Union Berlin qualify for Europa League.
Group D
SL Benfica
FC Inter Milan
FC Salzburg
Real Sociedad
One of the more balanced groups of the draw. This one can go several ways. Benfica are a strong team as proven last year making it to the quarterfinals. Inter Milan however were one win away from being crowned champions. No doubt those two sides are favourites to advance but don’t count out Salzburg or Real Sociedad. Both teams are on the rise, specifically Sociedad. I can see some upsets in this group.
Inter Milan and Real Sociedad advance with Benfica disappointing and going to the Europa League.
Group E
Atletico Madrid
S.S. Lazio
Another balanced group. Atletico Madrid have not been at their best the past couple of seasons and judging by their summer transfers, there is no guarantee they will be greatly improved. Feyenoord meanwhile claimed their first Dutch title in many years, earning Pot A rights. Lazio have gotten significantly better while Celtic is always one of the most difficult places to travel too.
Atletico Madrid narrowly win the group with Italian side Lazio making it to the group stage as well. Celtic move to the Europa League and top of the group Feyenoord fail to make an impact finishing last.
Group F
Borussia Dortmund
AC Milan
Newcastle United
The group of death. I was debating on doing an entire article on this group alone. That’s how difficult it may be. Firstly, PSG are world-class but struggle significantly in the Champions League. Borussia Dortmund finished tied with Bayern atop the Bundesliga last season, while AC Milan made it to the semi-finals of the champions league. Newcastle have arguable the biggest budget out of all of them and have respectfully built an outstanding team. Every away match for all these clubs will be extremely difficult. Which ever sides gain the most points on the road is who I see advancing. All four of these clubs can make a serious argument for moving on and they all have a good enough squad that should be in the knockout stages.
AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund narrowly advance with all four clubs finishing withing three points. PSG advance to the Europa League.
Group G
Manchester City
RB Leipzig
FC Crvena Zvezda
Young Boys
Reigning European champs Manchester City will breathe easy, although realistically there is no draw where they would have been overly worried. RB Leipzig is without doubt their toughest competition, but they brushed them aside last year winning 7-0 in the quarter finals.
City and Leipzig advance, Crvena Zvezda move to Europa League
Group H
FC Barcelona
FC Porto
Shakhtar Donetsk
Royal Antwerp
Barcelona will be relieved with their group. Porto and Shakhtar will be tough competition but this is the Champions League we’re talking about, you have to assume you will have tough group stage matchups. Porto and Shakhtar will be the real battle in this group.
Barcelona cruise, Shakhtar edge Porto to advance to knockout stages.
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By: Aaron Cantin


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