Two months after Manchester City lifted the Champions League title for the first time, the group Stage 2023/24 Champions League is set with the competition expected to be another exciting roller-coaster. The tournament will begin on September 19, 2023, with the final held at Wembley Stadium in London on 1st June 2023. The 32 teams will also fight to qualify for the inaugural expanded version of the FIFA Club World Cup in 2025. This is also the last time the Champions League will be played in the present format before abolishing the group stages for a Swiss Model system from next year.
Here is the 2023/24 Champions League group stage draw in full:
Group A will have a repeat of the 1999 Champions League final with Bundesliga winners Bayern Munich grouped with Manchester United. The Red Devils are returning to the competition after a season's absence and will also face FC Copenhagen of Denmark coming through qualifiers and Turkish champions Galatasaray.
After a long wait to return to the Champions League stage, first time since the 2015-16 season, Arsenal will take on last season’s Europa League winners Sevilla, Dutch giants PSV whom they face in that tournament and competition debutants RC Lens in Group B.
Last season’s semifinalists and record holders Real Madrid will hope to reach the top again paired in the group stage with Serie A winners after 33 years Napoli, Braga returning to the Champions League after 11 years and Bundesliga surprise package Union Berlin. They will be playing in the competition for the first time in their history.
Inter made it to the final of the final in Istanbul last season against all odds and will be hoping for the same after sharing the group with Portuguese champions Benfica, Austrian winners Salzburg and Real Sociedad making it to the tournament after the 2013/14 season.
Group E will consist of Eredivisie winners Feyenoord facing the challenge of competition regulars Atletico Madrid, Lazio and Scottish championship winners Celtic.
By the look of things, Group F is the ‘group of death’ in this season’s Champions League with Ligue 1 champions PSG, Bundesliga heavyweights Dortmund and former Serie A winners AC Milan making the mix. Adding to that, Newcastle United are also in the group having returned to the Champions League stage after 18 years backed by their Saudi-led ownership.
Red Star Belgrade
Winners Manchester City will begin the defence of their Champions League title with probably having the easiest group than the rest. They will face RB Leipzig for the third consecutive season along with Serbian league winners Red Star Belgrade and Swiss champions Young Boys.
La Liga winners FC Barcelona have been included in the last group with FC Porto from Portugal, Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine and Belgian club Royal Antwerp. The Catalan giants will hope to escape the group stages after failing to do so in the previous two seasons with a lot easier group this time out.