The draw will take place on August 25 in Istanbul. (Photo AP / Emrah Gurel)
In Europe, the main focus of clubs when thinking about filling their shop windows is the Champions League. For some, the path starts earlier and is more complicated, but for others it only starts in the group stage. Precisely, the draw will be held next Thursday to define the different areas, even if you first need to know the last six classified for the competition.
Like every year, the best teams and great figures will be present and will fight to be the best team in Europe. The 26 qualifiers already confirmed for this year are: real Madrid (ESP, Champions League champion), Eintracht Frankfurt (GER, Europa League champion), Manchester City (ITA), AC Milan (ITA), Bayern Monaco (GER), Paris Saint Germain (BETWEEN), port (FROM), Ajax (NED), Liverpool (ITA), Chelsea (ITA), Barcelona (ITA), Juve (ITA), Atletico Madrid (ITA), Seville (ITA), RB Leipzig (GER), Tottenham Hotspur (ITA), Borussia Dortmund (GER), salzburg (AUT), Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), Inter (ITA), Naples (ITA), Sports CP (FROM), Bayer Leverkusen (GER), Marseille (BETWEEN), witches (NICE), Celtic (SCO).
When it comes to serious candidates, we could establish some teams as favorites, although it is clear that most of the participants have the necessary level to be able to compete evenly to win the Orejona. The teams that, a priori, have the biggest favorites are: Real Madrid, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and PSG. Obviously there are second-rate teams like Chelsea, Atlético Madrid, Juventus and Barcelona which are always teams not to be underestimated and it would not surprise anyone if they did a great performance, but in the first place they are on the lowest step.
PSG is an opportunity to hit the table
The French team, for several years, in the preview of the competition appears as a clear favorite to be the champion. The reasons lie mainly in the economic power which, consequently, leads to the formation of schools that have the best in the world. While it is true that they still have world-class figures, for this year they have opted to incorporate lower profile players, get rid of several players and keep what are considered pillars of the project. The sporting director was also hired Luigi Campi and the coach Christopher Galtier.
The project tries to change perspective in order to conquer an obsession that for years is elusive and that seems more distant every year. Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé, Neymar and Sergio Ramos they are the actors and referents of this new path. In the theme of incorporations, the bet was placed on young people thirsting for glory, such as: Vitinha, Nuno Mendes, Renato Sanches, Nordi Mukiele and Hugo Ekitiké.
At the moment the team’s performances have been very solid and although there have been some short circuits between Mbappe and his teammates, the coach aims to reconcile the relationships between his players and run as one of the great candidates to dominate Europe. The quality and the reasons to get excited are the ones that remain, it will be necessary to see if the history of each year repeats itself and if they can reach the table.
figures to consider
In a tournament of this caliber, what abounds is the quality and the players of immense category. To those already called Messi, Mbappe and Neymar we can add an immense number of players who will try to be the football leaders of their teams. Many of them have changed teams in the recent transfer market and others continue in their clubs in search of the conquest of the top league.
Among the most relevant movements we find the pass of Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona, the transfer of Erling Haland at Manchester City or the arrival of Sadio Manè to Bayern Munich. Although we could also count the continuity of Mohammed Salah in Liverpool, another year of Karim Benzema looking for a new Champions with Real Madrid or the return of Paul Pogba to Juventus to reach the goal that was denied him in 2015.
The absence that hurts the most and surprises for what it has achieved is that of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese, throughout his career, has won 5 Champions League and is an emblem of the competition. This year he will participate in Europe, but in the UEFA Europa League.
The playoffs to qualify for the competition
The last six qualified for the Champions League groups are not yet known. As usual, the teams that could not qualify directly face the difficult qualifying phase. This week the second legs will be played and the clubs that will complete the 32 rankings will be known.
Tuesday 23rd August
16:00 Benfica (2) vs Dynamo Kyiv (0)
16:00 Red Star (2) vs Maccabi Haifa (3)
16:00 Viktoria Pilzen (0) vs FK Qaarabag (0)
Wednesday 24 August
16:00 Trabzonspor (1) vs Copenhagen (2)
16:00 PSV (2) v Rangers (2)
16:00 Dinamo Zagreb (0) vs Bodø / Glimt (1)
The draw of the group
The draw will take place on Thursday 25 August from 13:00 – Argentine time – in Istanbul, one day after the end of the playoffs when all the finishers will be known. Furthermore, it is already known that the final will take place at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium on June 10, 2023.
To draw a diagram of the draw, the teams are divided into 4 different pots based on their participation in the previous season and the UEFA national coefficient.
Pot 1: Real Madrid, Eintracht Frankfurt, Manchester City, Milan, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Ajax and Porto
Pot 2: Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid, Seville, Juventus and Red Bull Leipzig
The bands 3 and 4 are not defined as their graphic representation will be completed when the rankings are known and the band will be defined based on the coefficient.
The schedule of the group stage
First day: 6/7 September
Second day: 13/14 September
Third day: 4/5 October
Fourth day: 11/12 October
Fifth day: 25/26 October
Sixth day: 1/2 November