WELCOME TO MONACO!!! One of the most beautiful places in the world is the site of this year’s Champions League group stage draw for the 2023/24 season of the European Cup, and we will find out which three teams Barcelona will face starting in September as they look to reach the knockout stages for the first time under Xavi Hernández and avoid a third straight season in the Europa League.
As the defending La Liga champions the Blaugrana are back in Pot 1 for the draw which helps them avoid the real heavyweights in the continent, but that doesn’t mean the Catalans will automatically get an easy draw. Barça have often been put into the Group of Death in recent seasons, and with a stack field of 32 teams this year they could easily find themselves in another brutal draw.
Here are the four pots:
POT 1: Manchester City, Sevilla, Barcelona, Napoli, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Benfica, Feyenoord
POT 2: Real Madrid, Manchester United, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Atlético Madrid, RB Leipzig, FC Porto, Arsenal
POT 3: Shakhtar Donetsk, RB Salzburg, AC Milan, SC Braga, PSV Eindhoven, Lazio, Red Star Belgrade, FC Copenhagen
POT 4: Young Boys, Real Sociedad, Galatasaray, Celtic, Newcastle, Union Berlin, Royal Antwerp, RC Lens
It seems almost impossible for Barça to avoid an European giant from Pot 2 unless they are really lucky to get Porto, and if things also don’t go their way they could get two of Milan, PSV and Newcastle from Pots 3 and 4. Maybe luck will be on our side this time, but the draw hasn’t been a big Barça fan in recent years so we might very well have to brace for six brutal group stage games.
And this is the place for you to follow and comment all the action. Normal match thread rules apply, so remember to be nice to each other. VISCA EL BARÇA!