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UEFA Champions League draw 2023/24: Biggest winners and losers

The UEFA Champions League draw has unveiled the groups for the top 32 teams in Europe this season. Among these, one group stands out as the ultimate challenge – Group F, dubbed this year’s “group of death.” Featuring football giants Paris Saint-Germain, Newcastle, Dortmund, and AC Milan, it’s widely acclaimed as the most competitive group in the history of the Champions League.

Yet, within this intense competition, there are those who appear to face more daunting odds. Let’s take a closer look at the significant winners and losers of this season’s Champions League draw.

The Winners

Manchester City

Undoubtedly, the reigning champions Manchester City emerge as major beneficiaries of the draw. With a group comprising familiar opponents RB Leipzig, Crvena zvezda, and Young Boys, Pep Guardiola’s squad is seemingly on a smooth path to the last 16. The prospect of City encountering defeat, let alone not clinching the group’s top spot, seems remote.


Fortune has favored Arsenal with their group draw. While facing Sevilla, Lens, and PSV poses challenges, the Gunners have reason to be content. Securing at least four victories in this group isn’t an unrealistic goal, making progression to the knockout stage a reasonable expectation. Considering their return to Champions League action after a hiatus since 2017, Arsenal fans have little room for complaint.

Inter Milan

Last season’s finalists, Inter Milan, are positioned favorably in Group D alongside Benfica, Salzburg, and Real Sociedad. While the group remains competitive, Salzburg might bear the brunt of the losses. If Inter performs to their potential, they should confidently lead this group.

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Barcelona, a consistent fixture in the latter stages, aims to rebound from their uncharacteristic group-stage exit last season. Group H pairs them with FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Antwerp. Though a loss or two is plausible, Xavi’s squad is well-equipped to secure the top spot in this group.

Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid faces Lazio, Celtic, and Feyenoord in Group E. On paper, this is a favorable draw for Diego Simeone’s team, with a strong likelihood of topping the group. However, as past seasons have demonstrated, matches aren’t determined on paper alone.

Real Madrid

Real Madrid, the epitome of Champions League success, anticipates a straightforward group stage progression. Drawn into Group C with Napoli, Braga, and Union Berlin, the clashes against Napoli could provide exciting encounters. Although an upset by Napoli is feasible, a second-place finish at worst is still well within reach for Madrid.

The Losers

Newcastle United

Newcastle United finds themselves simultaneously as both losers and winners in this year’s draw. Making their return to the Champions League group stage after two decades, the Toon face a formidable challenge in PSG, Milan, and Dortmund. While they possess the talent to compete, the intensity of each group stage game might impact their domestic league performance. While the exposure to top-tier talent is a positive, a less challenging group would have been preferred for their last-16 ambitions.

RC Lens

RC Lens faces an uphill battle in Group B against Arsenal, Sevilla, and PSV. Advancing to the last 16 is a distant prospect for them, and even securing a single point could prove challenging.

Manchester United

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Group A features Manchester United alongside Bayern Munich, FC Copenhagen, and Galatasaray. Bayern’s supremacy is evident, and it would be a significant achievement if Erik ten Hag’s side secures more than a point from their encounters. Galatasaray, including former United player Wilfried Zaha, poses a credible threat that United cannot afford to underestimate.


Like RC Lens, Antwerp enters the Champions League with minimal expectations of clinching the title. Their group, featuring Barcelona, Porto, and Shakhtar, presents a formidable challenge. Attaining even a single victory would be an accomplishment for Antwerp in this competitive context.

While the Champions League draw has allocated varying levels of difficulty to the participating teams, the true outcomes will be shaped on the field, where surprises and extraordinary performances often redefine expectations.

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