5 Notable Personal Battles in Champions League 2022-23 Group Stage
5 Notable Personal Battles in Champions League 2022-23 Group Stage

The Champions League draw took place on Thursday in Turkey, with this season’s group stage to be squeezed into nine weeks to accommodate the 2022 World Cup.

Figures from Europe’s most influential clubs converged on Istanbul for the draw, which featured a total of 32 teams who were divided into eight groups.

How the 2022-23 UCL groups were drawn

Group A: Ajax, Liverpool, Napoli, Rangers

Group A features the winners of the Dutch league and the only Dutch team in the draw Ajax who will have a tough task against last year’s finalists Liverpool also facing Napoli and Rangers FC from Glasgow.

Group B: Porto, Atlético Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Club Brugge

Group B is a very interesting group that features FC Porto, Atletico Madrid, Bayern Leverkusen, and Club Brugge, Porto, and Atletico seem to be early favorites but watch out for early upsets in group play.

Group C: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Internazionale, Viktoria Plzeň

Group C could be defined as the group of death which has Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Inter, and Viktoria Plzen to round out the group and look for the top three times to battle it out to make the knockout stage.

Group D: Eintracht Frankfurt, Tottenham Hotspur, Sporting CP, Marseille

Group D has the likes of Eintracht Frankfurt, Tottenham, Sporting Portugal, and Marseille, Look for the English side to top the group but it won’t be easy against a UEFA Super Cup finalist.

Group E: Milan, Chelsea, RB Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb

Group E has two heavyweights with AC Milan and Chelsea and is clear favorites to advance in a group with Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb who are fresh off qualifying for the tournament.

Group F: Real Madrid, RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk, Celtic

Group F is where we find Real Madrid who has some stiff competition facing RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donestk, and Celtic, this is the third time in a row that Real and Shakhtar have been grouped together.

Group G: Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, FC Copenhagen

Group G features the winners of the English Premier League Manchester City who will face Borussia Dortmund, FC Sevilla, and FC Copenhagen in the group stage.

Group H: Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Benfica, Maccabi Haifa

Group H will feature a battle between two top clubs in PSG and Juventus who are also grouped with Benefica and Maccabi Haifa, look out for the Portuguese club to pull a surprise.

5 Notable Personal Battles in Champions League 2022-23 Group Stage

1. Erling Haaland

Photo: laodong
Photo: laodong

Haaland joined Man City from Dortmund in the summer of 2022 for £ 51 million. In the group stage of the Champions League 2022/23, the Norwegian striker will reunite with his old team. In addition to Dortmund, Man City's group also has the presence of Sevilla and Copenhagen. Haaland, who has had three goals for Man City in the Premier League this season, is expected to sow Dortmund's sorrow when the two sides clash. Ferran Soriano - Man City's chief executive - believes this will be a "special" occasion for Haaland and Ilkay Gundogan, who is also a former Dortmund player.

2. Robert Lewandowski

Photo: vovlive
Photo: vovlive

Barcelona had to spend a lot of effort recruiting Lewandowski from Bayern in the summer transfer window of 2022. With a narrow alley, Barca will face Bayern in the Champions League group stage and Lewandowski will soon be reunited with the old team. In recent years, Bayern has been an obsession with Barca. The Polish striker scored more than 300 goals for the Gray Lobster before arriving at the Nou Camp, and let's see if he can help the new team "claim both principal and interest" before the Bundesliga representative.

3. Fikayo Tomori

Photo: bongdaplus
Photo: bongdaplus

Some Chelsea fans are still disappointed with the Chelsea board's decision to sell Tomori to Milan, and now the Blues will see how the England international has progressed strongly by being in the same group as the reigning Serie A Champions. Tomori definitely wants to prove Chelsea wrong when they sold him a year ago. In addition to Tomori, Chelsea will meet another old person, that is striker Olivier Giroud.

4. Renato Sanches

Photo: psg
Photo: psg

The former Swansea City man has revived his career in France after struggling at Bayern Munich. He recently left Lille to join Paris Saint-Germain and has played in their first two league matches. Sanches joined Lille in 2020 and went on to become one of their most important players as they lifted the Ligue 1 title in 2021.

Sanches will now face his former side Benfica in the Champions League. It was the club that Sanches started his career at, as he impressed for Portugal as a 19-year-old at Euro 2016. Sanches made just 35 appearances for Benfica before his €35million (£30m) switch to Bayern.

5. Angel Di Maria

Photo: goal
Photo: goal

In the summer of 2022, Di Maria parted ways with PSG in a free form after 7 seasons of dedication. The next destination in his career is Juventus. In the Champions League group stage, the Argentina international will reunite with PSG and this is a match worth waiting for. Currently, Di Maria is injured but can recover in time to play in the next group stage.

How did the draw work?

The 32 teams were separated into four “pots”, with each group containing one side from each pot.

The pots were representative of teams’ ranking within Europe. Pot one contained the winners of last season’s Champions League and Europa League, as well as the winners of the top six divisions in Europe. Pots two, three and four were then determined by clubs’ UEFA coefficients.

If a country had two clubs in the group stage, they will be “paired” to split their matches between Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

If a country has four representatives, such as England, two pairings will be made to split them up. These pairings were determined by TV audiences. Manchester City were paired with Liverpool and Chelsea with Tottenham, while Rangers and Celtic were paired to ensure they play on different days.

The process begun with teams from pot one being drawn into group A, group B, group C and so on.

Teams from pot two were drawn, followed by pots three and four. Once a side was picked, a computer immediately selected the available groups in which it can be placed, in accordance with TV pairings and restrictions on who they can face.

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