The pots for the Champions League group stage draw have been finalized, with the inclusion of Antwerp, FC Copenhagen, and PSV Eindhoven. These three teams have secured the final spots in this season’s competition. However, this draw marks the end of an era, as the UEFA Champions League undergoes a revamp next season, transitioning into a 36-team league format.
Manchester City, the defending champions, will be placed in Pot 1 alongside Sevilla, the winners of the UEFA Europa League. This pot is rounded out by the champions of the top six leagues and Feyenoord, the winners of the Eredivisie. Interestingly, Feyenoord is promoted from Pot 3 due to Manchester City’s dual success in winning both the Premier League and the Champions League.
Pots 2-4 are determined by UEFA’s five-year coefficient score system, which takes into account a team’s performance in European competitions over a five-year period. Newcastle United finds themselves in Pot 4 as this will be their first European campaign in 11 seasons. This could potentially lead to a challenging return to the Champions League for the Magpies, as they may face formidable opponents like Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, and AC Milan.
The group stage draw is scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. UK time/midday ET on Thursday. One team from each pot will be drawn into a group, ensuring that teams from the same national association are not placed together. This draw will determine the matchups for the first fixtures, which are set to be played on September 19 and 20. It is expected that the schedule will be announced by Saturday, providing fans with the important dates and venues for each match.
This season’s Champions League final will be held at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday, June 1. As the competition progresses and teams battle it out on the pitch, the road to the final promises intense competition, dramatic moments, and captivating matches. Fans around the world eagerly anticipate the moment when one team will lift the coveted trophy and be crowned the 2023 UEFA Champions League winners.
Here is a breakdown of the teams in each pot for the group stage draw:
Pot 1: Manchester City, Sevilla, Barcelona, Napoli, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Benfica, Feyenoord
Pot 2: Real Madrid, Manchester United, Internazionale, Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig, FC Porto, Arsenal
Pot 3: Shakhtar Donetsk, FC Salzburg, AC Milan, Braga, PSV Eindhoven, Lazio, Red Star Belgrade, FC Copenhagen
Pot 4: Young Boys, Real Sociedad, Galatasaray, Celtic, Newcastle United, Union Berlin, Antwerp, Lens
As the countdown to the group stage draw begins, football fans worldwide eagerly await the outcomes that will shape the early stages of this prestigious competition. The Champions League continues to capture the hearts of millions through its captivating moments of skill, drama, and glory.