Champions League: Newcastle Face Group Of Death As United Meet Kane's Bayern

The four-team group stage era draws to a close
09:56, 01 Sep 2023

The last Champions League draw of the group stage era took place last night, before the competition’s shift to an all-in league format next season. It is a bittersweet occasion as the European Cup says goodbye to the structure most fans are well accustomed to. But the final year of four-team groups has at least thrown up some belting ties.

One concept that will sadly die with the 2023/24 competition is the idea of the ‘group of death’. Newcastle United were handed that poisoned chalice this time. The Magpies are back in the competition’s group stages for the first time since the 2002/23 season. They will be greeted by Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan. It is a baptism of fire for Eddie Howe’s men, but Newcastle fans will relish being among the elite once again.


The next trickiest draw for an English side befell Manchester United. The Red Devils will come up against Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in Group A. It is a game ripe with narrative, as United’s former transfer target Harry Kane makes a quick return to England with his new club. They also face a tricky trip to Turkey where Galatasaray await. Copenhagen round out their group as United prepare for their first season of Champions League football under Erik ten Hag.

Arsenal and Manchester City will both enjoy an easier time of it than their Premier League counterparts. City face an RB Leipzig side they beat 7-0 in the round of 16 second leg last term as well as Red Star Belgrade and Young Boys. The Gunners square off with Sevilla in their trickiest tie, but should find it easier going against PSV Eindhoven and Lens.

Celtic face some tasty ties as they look to improve on last season’s winless group stage run. The Hoops finished with just two points last term under current Tottenham Hotspur manager Ange Postecoglou. Successor Brendan Rodgers has managed in this competition with both Liverpool and Celtic, but has yet to progress past the group stage. He’ll have to garner points against Atletico Madrid, Feyenoord and Lazio to do it this time.


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Outside of the British involvement, the rest of the competition is bejewelled with European Cup heritage. Real Madrid vs Napoli, Inter Milan vs Benfica and Barcelona vs Porto are ties so classicist, you can almost hear Zadok The Priest playing in the back of your head. The Champions League is back and with the changes on the horizon, we may never have it this good again.

Full Champions League Draw

Group A: Bayern Munich, Manchester United, FC Copenhagen, Galatasaray 

Group B: Sevilla, Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven, RC Lens 

Group C: Napoli, Real Madrid, Braga, Union Berlin 

Group D: Benfica, Inter Milan, FC Salzburg, Real Sociedad 

Group E: Feyenoord, Atletico Madrid, Lazio, Celtic 

Group F: Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, Newcastle 

Group G: Manchester City, RB Leipzig, Red Star Belgrade, Young Boys 

Group H: Barcelona, FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Royal Antwerp

ucl group betting*

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

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