The Champions League groups for the 2022/23 season are in place. The draw- part of UEFA’s awards night- took place in Istanbul, the scene for this season’s final. Ex-footballers Yaya Toure and Turkish Hamit Altintop were at hand, helping pick out miniature footballs from the four pots. While the continent’s bigwigs are likely to progress into the Round of 16, the balance of certain groups offers scope for genuine intrigue. 

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With two Scottish clubs in the fray for the first time in 15 years, a ‘Battle of Britain’, as ties between clubs from the two nations are titled, was demanded and delivered. Liverpool and Rangers FC will add a fresh chapter to the cross-border derbies. Ajax and Napoli will likely offer the sterner tests to the Merseysiders in Group A. Real Madrid has drawn the other Glaswegians, Celtic FC, in Group F. RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk complete the group, paving an easy path for the defending champions. 

Robert Lewandowski returns to Bavaria. Barcelona and Bayern Munich find themselves in each other’s company in Group C. The two seeds meet for the first time since Bayern’s 8-2 mauling of the Catalans. But in Inter Milan, the two meet formidable foes. Czech side Viktoria Plzen completes the group. On paper, it looks the tightest among the eight groups. 

Premier League champions Manchester City ensure another big-ticket reunion with Erling Haaland returning to ex-flame Borussia Dortmund in Group G. The Blues also face Sevilla and FC Copenhagen in the group.  Chelsea duel with AC Milan, RB Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb. Tottenham Hotspur will mark their Champions League return with ties against Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt, Sporting Lisbon and France’s only Champions League/European Cup winner, Olympique Marseille. Paris Saint-Germain, of course, grabs the attention in French football, but off it, Marseille’s Stade Velodrome is a sight to behold. Irrespective, PSG meets Juventus, Benfica and Israel’s Maccabi Haifa. 

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The eight groups are as follows: 

Group A: Ajax, Liverpool, Napoli, Rangers FC

Group B: FC Porto, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Club Brugge

Group C: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Victoria Plzen

Group D: Eintracht Frankfurt, Tottenham Hotspur, Sporting Lisbon, Olympique Marseille 

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

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

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

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