The 2023-24 Champions League draw was performed on August 31 on the Grimaldi Centre in Monaco. With a number of new groups coming into the event after a very long time, we had been blessed with some mouth-watering clashes. As common, there’s a ‘Group of Dying’ and another teams with three sturdy groups which might be within the race to qualify for the spherical of 16.
And it’s right here the highest clashes will play a vital position in figuring out who makes it out of their group. The matchday 1 of the Champions League group stage will start on September 19 and finish on December 13, 2023.
The primary leg of the spherical of 16 will happen between February 13-21, 2024, and the second leg scheduled between March 5-13, 2024. The primary leg of the quarter-finals will happen between April 9-10, 2024, adopted by the second leg per week later between April 16-17, 2024.
The semi-finals will happen between April 30 and Might 8, 2024, with the ultimate on June 1, 2024, on the New Wembley Stadium. So, with out additional ado, listed here are the highest 2023-24 UEFA Champions League group stage clashes.
Bayern Munich vs. Manchester United
198-99, 2000-01. 2001-02, 2009-10, 2013-14 and now 2022-23. Over time, Bayern Munich and Manchester United have given us some breathtaking video games. From the injury-time targets of Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær within the 199 ultimate to Arjen Robben’s sensible objective in 2010, the sport has all the time lived as much as its hype.
Nonetheless, attributable to Manchester United’s drastic downturn in kind for the previous decade, the 2 groups haven’t performed one another since 2014. The final season was underwhelming for Bayern Munich as they had been knocked out within the quarter-finals of the Champions League. They did handle to win the league for the eleventh time after Borussia Dortmund misplaced on the final day.
The Bavarian took strict motion over the summer season, firing CEO Oliver Kahn and Sporting Director Hasan Salihamidzic. Bayern additionally added a world-class striker in Harry Kane, which that they had been sorely missing within the earlier season.
Then again, Manchester United additionally strengthened the staff by including Rasmus Hojlund, Mason Mount, and Andre Onana to the staff and are additionally exploring choices to signal Sofyan Amrabat.
Nonetheless, Bayern Munich have a much better and extra settled squad in the meanwhile, and with the addition of Harry Kane, they’ve stuffed the final remaining jigsaw puzzle. As well as, they’ve additionally agreed on a deal price €40 million to promote Ryan Garvenberch to Liverpool. It will enable them the funds to go and signal Joao Palhinha from Fulham.
FootTheBall predicts Bayern Munich to win each the house and away legs towards Manchester United.
Napoli vs. Actual Madrid
Group C of the Champions League paired Serie A champions Napoli, 14-time winners Actual Madrid, SC Braga, and debutants Union Berlin. Out of this, the conflict between Napoli and Actual Madrid will give us a few of the best-attacking shows on this 12 months’s event. Each groups performed an attacking model of soccer that leaves massive areas down the pitch, permitting the opposite staff to counterattack.
It’s a sport the place each groups have the identical weaknesses and have the identical strengths that can be utilized to use these weaknesses. Final season, Napoli broked their three-decade title drought by successful the Serie A. One of many essential causes was the duo of Victor Osimhen and the Georgian sensation Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who mixed for 67 targets and assists and helped Napoli destroy any competitors within the league. Whereas center-back Min Jae Kim has gone to Bayern Munich, Napoli have made signings all throughout the squad in a bid to extend their squad depth.
Actual Madrid, however, are coming into the brand new season with vigor, particularly after failing to defend their La Liga and Champions League crown/. Nonetheless, their season was marred by long-term accidents to Eder Militao and Thibaut Courtois. They’ve signed Kepa Arrizabalaga on mortgage to cowl for Courtois and have added Jude Bellingham and Arda Guler to strengthen their assault.
Each groups look equally good on paper, however Actual Madrid are a special beast within the Champions League.
FootTheBall predicts a house win for Actual Madrid, whereas the sport at Napoli’s stadium might be a draw.
Group F is undoubtedly the Group of Dying with Paris Saint Germain, Borussia Dortmund, seven-time champions AC Milan and Newcastle United. All 4 groups are stacked with expertise, and it’s virtually not possible to foretell which two groups will progress by way of to the following spherical.
Paris Saint Germain have performed each season within the Champions League because the 2012-13 season and, regardless of dropping Lionel Messi and Neymar, boast the strongest squad within the group. They usually even have managed to retain the providers of Kylian Mbappe. PSG have additionally signed Ousmane Dembele, Lucas Hernandez, and Manuel Ugarte to the ranks. This indicators a brand new strategy by the French membership as they appear to maneuver away from star signings and as an alternative focus their goal on younger gamers who might turn into superstars of tomorrow.
In the meantime, Borussia Dortmund have well invested the cash that they earned from the sale of Jude Bellingham by signing final 12 months’s Bundesliga top-scorer Niclas Fullkrug, Bayern Munich midfielder Marcel Sabitzer, and Felix Nmecha. This has made them a extra rounded squad mandatory for a protracted season throughout a number of tournaments.
Then again, AC Milan are attempting to construct on a season the place they completed fourth in Serie A and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League. And like Dortmund, they made good use of the funds obtained from the sale of Sandro Tonali to purchase Christian Pulisic, Samuel Chukwueze, Yunus Musah, Tijjani Reijnders, Ruben Loftus Cheek, and Noah Okafor. This has dramatically improved the depth of the squad, as is clear by the sturdy begin the staff has made within the Serie A this season.
And eventually, there’s Newcastle United, who’ve returned to the Champions League after a hiatus of 19 years. Since their takeover by their Saudi house owners, the Magpies have made fast progress and completed fourth within the Premier League to get Champions League qualification. The staff is full of sensible gamers all throughout the pitch. Nonetheless, expertise is the one factor they sorely lack, which might come again to hang-out them. This was evident of their current 2-1 homeless towards Liverpool, the place they conceded two late targets from Darwin Nunez regardless of taking part in with a person up for the final 70 minutes.
And expertise is what’s going to resolve the result of the group. For the Actual Madrid vs. Borussia Dortmund conflict, FootTheBall predicts a house win for Madrid and a draw at Dortmund’s stadium. For the Actual Madrid vs. Newcastle sport, Madrid are primed to take all six factors. AC Milan and Newcastle United will win their house legs towards one another. Dortmund could have house wins over Milan and Newcastle and draw the away legs to complete second behind Actual Madrid.