UEFA Champions League Draw: Premier League Clubs Anticipate Opponents
The excitement is palpable as the UEFA Champions League returns, captivating fans from all corners. Supporters of four Premier League teams eagerly await the revelation of their group stage adversaries in Thursday’s draw, set in the glamorous backdrop of Monaco.
As the anticipation heightens, reigning champions Manchester City, UEFA Europa League victors Sevilla, and six domestic champions secure their spots in pot one for the draw. Notably, Manchester City and Sevilla recently clashed in the UEFA Super Cup final, adding to the intrigue.
Notable comeback stories pepper this year’s competition. Arsenal, who last reached the tournament’s final in 2005/06, resurface after a hiatus since 2016/17, ending a remarkable 18-year streak of consecutive Champions League qualifications, a record only surpassed by Real Madrid.
Meanwhile, Newcastle United breaks a lengthy spell by entering the group stage for the first time since the 2002/03 season. Also returning is Manchester United, a three-time Champions League victor, who reenters the competition after a Europa League stint last season.
Categorized by club coefficient rankings, pots two to four bring Arsenal and Manchester United together in pot two, while Newcastle finds its place in pot four.
The draw avoids matchups between Premier League sides, as is the norm for domestic leagues. The pots line up as follows:
Pot one: Man City, Sevilla, Barcelona, Napoli, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Benfica, Feyenoord
Pot two: Real Madrid, Man Utd, Internazionale, Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig, Porto, Arsenal
Pot three: Shakhtar Donetsk, Red Bull Salzburg, AC Milan, Braga, Lazio, Red Star Belgrade, Copenhagen, PSV
Pot four: Newcastle, Lens, Union Berlin, Real Sociedad, Galatasaray, Celtic, Antwerp, Young Boys
English teams’ performance this season takes on added significance as up to five teams could secure spots in the 2024/25 Champions League through league rankings. Moreover, two countries that collectively excel in the previous season’s UEFA competitions will receive an additional slot.
This season marks the last hurrah for the traditional 32-team format, paving the way for a 36-team structure akin to a “Swiss league” for the following year’s competition.
Mark these dates for the group stage matches:
- Matchday 1: 19/20 September 2023
- Matchday 2: 3/4 October 2023
- Matchday 3: 24/25 October 2023
- Matchday 4: 7/8 November 2023
- Matchday 5: 28/29 November 2023
- Matchday 6: 12/13 December 2023
The pinnacle of this season’s Champions League unfolds on 1 June 2024 at Wembley Stadium.
Premier League presence extends beyond the Champions League. The Europa League and Europa Conference League host an array of English clubs:
- Liverpool, determined to make their mark after narrowly missing the top four last season.
- Brighton and Hove Albion, experiencing European action for the first time, alongside West Ham United.
- Aston Villa aims for Europa Conference League success under the guidance of four-time Europa League champion Unai Emery.
On Friday, 1 September, the draws for these two competitions will shape their exciting trajectories.