|Group F would be the one to watch out for when the group stage kicks off on the 19th of September. (Photo credit: UEFA)|
The 2023–2024 Champions League season technically got underway on Thursday with the draws for the group stage at a lavish event at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
Arsenal returned to the Champions League for the first time in seven years and was hoping for a favorable draw, while Newcastle also returned after twenty-odd years out. Manchester City and Manchester United are the other two premier league clubs in the elite tournament.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Group F would be the group to keep an eye on, with PSG drawing Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, and Newcastle. It’s a tough return to the tournament for the Geordies, who must swim or sink against hungry sharks.
Manchester United drew Bayern Munich, with the 1999 final coming to mind. FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray are the other two clubs in Group A, alongside the 2008 winners United and the 2020 champions Bayern Munich.
Arsenal avoided continental heavyweights in Group B. The Gunners will face Sevilla, PSV Eindhoven, and French side Lens. Group C sees record holders Real Madrid, Italian champions Napoli, Braga of Portugal, and German side Union Berlin all fighting for the top two spots.
Last season’s finalist, Inter Milan, will square up against SL Benfica, Austrian side RB Salzburg, and Spanish club Real Sociedad in Group D, while Group E is made up of Feyenoord, Atletico Madrid, SS Lazio, and Scottish side Celtic.
Champions Manchester City has a relatively easy draw with familiar foes RB Leipzig, Red Star Belgrade, and Swiss club Young Boys, but Pep Guardiola and co. would know that everything is possible under the light on Champions League nights.
FC Barcelona will be the team to beat in Group H, but they must negotiate with FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, and debutants Royal Antwerp. The group stage will begin on the 19th of September and end on the 13th of December.