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Who are Real Madrid’s possible rivals in the Champions League group stage?

The group stage draw for the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League gets underway in Monaco on Thursday evening.

Real Madrid's English midfielder #5 Jude Bellingham celebrates his goal with teammates during the Spanish Liga football match between RC Celta de Vigo and Real Madrid CF at the Balaidos stadium in Vigo on August 25, 2023. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP)

Following Wednesday’s Champions League playoff round games, we will then know the names of the final three teams that will make up the 32 sides who will participate in the 2023-24 season Champions League with the group stage draw scheduled for Thursday evening.

Following aggregate wins on Tuesday night, Braga, Galatasaray and Young Boys all confirmed their places in the group stage with just three places left to fill.

Wednesday’s UCL playoff fixtures

AEK Athens (Greece) vs Antwerp (Belgium), 1-0 on agg.

PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) vs Rangers (Scotland), 2-2 on agg.

Copenhagen (Denmark) vs Raków Częstochowa (Poland), 1-0 on agg.

UCL group stage (23-24) already qualified

England: Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Newcastle United
Spain: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Real Sociedad, Sevilla
Italy: Napoli, Lazio, Inter, Milan
Germany: Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Union Berlin
France: Paris Saint-Germain, Lens
Portugal: Benfica, Porto, Braga
Netherlands: Feyenoord
Ukraine: Shakhtar Donetsk
Austria: FC Salzburg
Scotland: Celtic
Serbia: Red Star Belgrade
Turkey: Galatasaray
Switzerland: Young Boys


Real Madrid’s possible rivals

Carlo Ancelotti’s team are the highest ranked side in pot 2 after finishing as runner-up in LaLiga last season. This does mean that a tough pot 1 opponent awaits and this could be one of: Man City, PSG, Bayern Munich, Napoli Benfica or Feyenoord.

At the moment given that there are still three spaces to fill, the teams composing pots 3/4 are not yet confirmed but potential tricky rivals in pot three include AC Milan or Lazio with a trip to the hostile Red Star Belgrade an undesired destination. Salzburg, Shakhtar or Braga would be more palatable options for ‘Los Blancos’ from pot 3.

Red Star
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Red Star

Pot 4 teams to avoid for Madrid would be the, reinforced by Saudi riches Newcastle United and Galatasaray with a trip to Istanbul always tricky. Opponents such as Celtic, Lens or Young Boys would be considered as favorable opponents for the Santiago Bernabeu faithful.

El central sueco Carl Starfelt celebra un gol anotado con el Celtic de Glasgow durante la temporada 2022-2023.
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Real Madrid: possible group of death:

Manchester City, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Galatasaray

Real Madrid: possible group of ‘relative’ tranquility

Benfica, Real Madrid, Shakhtar, Lens