By Chris King • 31 August 2023 • 19:54
Image of two players kicking a ball.
The draw for the UEFA Champions League was made this Thursday, August 31, in the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
A total of 32 teams were in today’s draw. They would eventually be placed in eight groups consisting of four teams in each one. One of them would eventually hold the iconic trophy aloft at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday, June 1, 2024.
As confirmed by UEFA, the top two teams in each group advance to the round of 16 knockout stages. The third-placed sides in each group transfer to the UEFA Europa League knockout round playoffs, where they will face the UEFA Europa League group runners-up for places in the last 16.
Newcastle United were in the draw for the first time in 20 years after their splendid finish in the Premier League last season. Arsenal were also back in the tournament after missing out on qualification for the last six seasons, with Manchester United making up the UK contingent in the draw.
Manchester City are the current European champions after their victory over Serie A giants Inter Milan in the final that was held in Istanbul last year.
This is how the draw unfolded:
Red Star Belgrade
Of all the British teams, Newcastle probably face the most difficult prospect of qualifying, with three European titans making up their group.
Pep Guardiola’s City side seems to have a relatively easy group on their hands, but, in European competition, nothing can be taken for granted even if you are treble-winners.
Arsenal face a stiff challenge with last season’s Europa League winners Sevilla joining them in their group. Spain has four other teams in the group stages, with Real Madrid facing the daunting task of playing last season’s Serie A champion, Napoli.
Manchester United find themselves in the same group as Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich yet again. They face a daunting trip to Istanbul to play Galatasaray, who have made some excellent signings in the current transfer window.
Barcelona also have a tricky opponent in FC Porto, while Atletico are up against three sides that could cause them trouble. Real Sociedad were incredible in La Liga last season and ended the season in fourth position and with a place in the Champions League. They face a very difficult trio in Group D.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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