The 2023-24 UEFA Champions League group stage commences this week, as last season’s winners Manchester City embark on their title defense. The Premier League will be represented by four clubs – Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle United, who are making their first appearance in two decades.
Scottish champions Celtic have qualified for the group stage for the second year running. With the tournament underway, here is a preview of the key details for this season’s Champions League. Using pin up azerbaijan you can bet on every team or personal statistic of best players.
Who to play with?
Newcastle United have been handed a challenging Group F, drawing last season’s semi-finalists Paris Saint-Germain, along with Italian heavyweights AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund, who have lifted the trophy in the past.
Defending champions Manchester City should have little trouble progressing from Group G, which contains RB Leipzig, Red Star Belgrade and Young Boys.
Scottish champions Celtic appear to have a manageable group on paper, with Feyenoord, Atletico Madrid and Lazio their opponents.
For Manchester United, the obvious threat in Group A comes from German titans Bayern Munich. However, with FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray completing the group, United will still fancy their chances of advancement.
Finally, Arsenal have been paired with Europa League winners Sevilla, PSV Eindhoven and Lens in a tricky Group D.
For many years, it was a given that we would witness the brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi gracing the grandest stage of European club football. However, this season’s Champions League will not feature either of these iconic players.
Ronaldo made a significant move to Saudi Arabia, donning the jersey of Al Nassr, while Messi now finds himself in the United States, representing Inter Miami.
But it’s not just these two legends who are absent; Neymar, the Brazilian forward, and Karim Benzema, the French striker, have also ventured into the Saudi Pro League. Neymar now plays for Al Hilal, while Benzema is with Al-Ittihad.
Nonetheless, we can still look forward to witnessing some of the biggest names in the present and future of football. The likes of Kylian Mbappe, the French striker at PSG, and Erling Haaland, the goal-scoring sensation at City, are poised to continue making history and breaking records.
Adding to the excitement is Lamine Yamal, a 16-year-old prodigy who recently etched his name in history. This year, he became Barcelona’s youngest-ever player and achieved the remarkable feat of becoming the youngest debutant and scorer for the Spanish national team.
Place, top contenders and a new format
Wembley Stadium is the chosen venue to host the final showdown.
According to simulations based on Gracenote’s Euro Club Index, Manchester City emerges as the front-runners to clinch the Champions League title, with a commanding 37% chance of victory. Trailing behind are Real Madrid at 13% and Bayern Munich at 11%. Interestingly, there’s a notable 19% chance that a new name could be engraved on the coveted trophy.
Moreover, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Barcelona all enjoy a staggering 90% or higher probability of advancing to the knockout stage.
The current format, featuring 32 teams divided into eight groups of four, with the top two advancing to the round of 16, is about to conclude after this season. A significant transformation is set for the 2024-25 campaign, introducing a new structure with 36 participating teams. Furthermore, two of the additional spots will be allocated to countries whose clubs have displayed the finest performances in the preceding season.