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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Champions League draw 2023/24: possible Group of Death

European champions Manchester City will hope to keep hold of their crown, but they could face the likes of Real Madrid and Inter Milan in the group stages.

Update:
Last ever UCL group stage fixtures
FABRICE COFFRINIAFP

The Champions League returns next month, bringing together the finest teams on the continent to battle it out to be crowned European champions.

But before the first group stage fixtures get started on Tuesday, 19 September, there is the small matter of the Champions League draw. The process includes a seeding system that ensures the best teams are kept apart in the group stage and keep the groups fairly balanced.

We will be bringing you full live coverage of the 2023/24 Champions League draw from 12am (ET) / 9am (PT) on Thursday, 31 August.

Every year there is one group that looks particularly strong, often christened the ‘Group of Death’. Here’s what the 2023/24 Group of Death could look like...

Who could be in the Group of Death?

The 32 qualifiers for this year’s Champions League are divided into four pots; with the historically stronger teams in Pot 1, and the weaker teams in Pot 4. The groups are also split into two halves - red and blue - to ensure that teams from the same country or city are not playing on the same day.

For example, Manchester City and Manchester United cannot be placed in the same group. Neither can Barcelona and Real Madrid. With that in mind, here is a few possible options for a ‘Group of Death’:

Option 1. Manchester City, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Union Berlin

It’s hard to consider a tougher Group of Death than this first possibility. Reigning champions Man City; European royalty Real Madrid; last year’s semi-finalists AC Milan; and a Union Berlin side whose ferocious home support makes every game in the German capital a real challenge.

After years of disappointment, Manchester City finally lifted the Champions League last season.
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After years of disappointment, Manchester City finally lifted the Champions League last season. MOLLY DARLINGTONREUTERS

Option 2. Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Lazio, Real Sociedad

Another cracker of a group, with teams who will be hoping to make a real splash in Europe this year. Perennial German champions Bayern look incredibly strong after the addition of Harry Kane this summer, while Manchester United have also spent big to bolster this squad. Lazio secured an impressive second place finish in Italy last season, and Real Sociedad remain one of LaLiga’s most exciting sides when they’re at their best.

Read more on the 2023/24 Champions League draw...

Option 3. Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid, Red Bull Salzburg, Newcastle United

Finally, a Group of Death that would also provide a fascinating clash of footballing styles. A new-look PSG may be embarking on their final Champions League pursuit with Kylian Mbappe, and Atleti will be desperate to secure the trophy that has always eluded Diego Simeone. Alongside them, Salzburg and Newcastle are two highly energetic teams who proved themselves against the best in their domestic leagues last season.