Champions League: a long-awaited draw before a hellish comeback

Champions League: a long-awaited draw before a hellish comeback

Who to succeed Real Madrid? The 32 clubs participating in the Champions League group stage will know their opponents this Thursday in Turkey (6:00 p.m.).

The Champions League trophy. Panoramic

At the Haliç conference center in Istanbul, on the banks of the Golden Horn, Real Madrid and its main competitors, Paris SG, Manchester City, Liverpool or Bayern Munich, will meet their first opponents this Thursday at 6 p.m. h.

This is an unprecedented edition since this season will be interspersed with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar (November 20-December 18). The group stage of the C1 will therefore be condensed from the beginning of September to the beginning of November, forcing most of the leaders to play every three days. A hellish pace. And this unusual schedule will shift the final to June 10, 2023.
Real, still number one favorite

With 14 European championship titles, the last of which came in the spring, it’s hard not to see Real as one of the favorites this year. A status validated by his seeding rank and his presence in Hat 1. your place. And it’s a strong enough motivation to continue winning, “warned Ancelotti in early August. Still, Real failed to bring in Kylian Mbappé. And that the merengue club has also lost Casemiro (transferred to Manchester United), the essential defensive midfielder who, with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, made up one of the best midfielders in the history of football.

PSG, City and Bayern dream of it

As national champions, PSG, Manchester City and Bayern feature with Real in the top hat, ensuring they avoid each other in the group stage. Paris, with a great start to the season (3 wins and 17 goals scored), finally seems to have the maturity to obtain this long-awaited Champions League. The capital club has chosen a coach with clear ideas although without much experience in the Champions League, the Frenchman Christophe Galtier. With a Mbappé extended until 2025, a rediscovered Neymar and a finally acclimatized Lionel Messi, the Parisian club openly dreams of the Grail.

But PSG are not alone. This year, the City of Guardiola scares all European defenses. Having managed to attract the cyborg Erling Haaland, the Citizens are on paper one of the big favorites for the final victory. Like PSG, Bayern Munich crushes everything in its championship with 100% wins and a total of 15 goals in just 3 games.
Outsiders with big ambitions

Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, winner of the C1 2019 and still a finalist last year at the Stade de France (1-0), is also a candidate for the title. But since the departure of Sadio Mané, who went to Bayern, the Reds are struggling in the Premier League (2 draws and 1 loss). We also find the Chelsea of ​​Thomas Tuchel, European champion 2021, the Tottenham of Antonio Conte, the Juventus of Massimiliano Allegri, the Atlético Madrid of Diego Simeone, as well as a giant in reconquest, the FC Barcelona of Xavi. All these clubs at first glance slightly weaker than the other leaders above will still be difficult opponents to beat.


The clubs involved in the third and fourth pots like OM (pot 4) are no doubt hoping to avoid a group that is too strong. Only Eintracht Frankfurt and Porto (hat 1) or Seville and Leipzig (hat 2) seem less formidable opponents to hope to reach the knockout stages.

Composition of the hats:

Pot 1: Real Madrid, Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, PSG, FC Porto, Ajax Amsterdam, AC Milan

Pot 2: Liverpool, Chelsea, FC Barcelona, ​​Juventus, Atlético Madrid, Sevilla FC, RB Leipzig, Tottenham

Pot 3: Borussia Dortmund, Shaktar Donetsk, RB Salzburg, Inter Milan, Napoli, Benfica, Sporting CF, Rangers or Bayer Leverkusen

Pot 4: Bayer Leverkusen or PSV Eindhoven, OM, Club Brugge, Celtic, Viktoria Plzen, Maccabi Haifa, Dinamo Zagreb or Bodo/Glimt, FC Copenhagen or Trabzonspor.