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Who could Manchester City face in the UEFA Champions League group stages?

Harry Winters

Publishedย 
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Who could Manchester City face in the UEFA Champions League group stages?

Featured Image Credit: REUTERS / Alamy

The draw for the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League group stages takes place on Thursday.

Manchester City will embark on their latest campaign in the elite European competition, as Pep Guardiola's side look to finally lift the coveted Champions League trophy.

City, who suffered an agonising defeat to Chelsea in the 2021 Final, were knocked out of the competition at the semi-final stages last season - dramatically losing to eventual winners Real Madrid.

The Sky Blues are preparing for their 12th successive campaign in the Champions League, and will discover their opponents for the group stages on Thursday 25th August.

The 2022/23 Champions League group stage draw will take place in Istanbul, hosts of the final in 2023 at 5pm BST.

City are one of the 26 teams to have automatically qualified for the competition, while play-offs are currently taking place to determine the final six teams for the tournament.

All six group stage fixtures will be played prior to the FIFA World Cup; with two matches in September, three in October and one in November.

The Sky Blues are one of the eight teams to be seeded in pot one, as result of Guardiola's side retaining the Premier League title in May.

City cannot face English opposition in the group stages, so which opponents could City possibly face this year?

Champions League Trophy
Champions League Trophy

Pot One

Manchester City, Real Madrid, Eintracht Frankfurt, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint Germain, Porto and Ajax.

The first pot, which includes City, is made up of the winners of Europe's most major leagues as well as the winners of the Champions League, Real Madrid and Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt.

Pot Two

Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, RB Leipzig and Tottenham Hotspur.

The inclusion of three English sides in pot two means that City have only five possible opponents.

City will face a trip to Spain, Italy or Germany, where they could face European heavyweights such as Barcelona, Juventus or Atletico Madrid.

The Blues overcame Atletico in a fiery encounter in the quarter-finals last season, winning 1-0 on aggregate, courtesy of Kevin De Bruyne's first-leg strike.

Pot Three

Borussia Dortmund, Red Bull Salzburg, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan, Napoli, Sporting Lisbon, Bayer Leverkusen and Benfica.

Seven of the eight sides in pot three have been confirmed, with the potential for Guardiola's side to face Sporting Lisbon, who they thrashed in knockout stages last season.

The opportunity for Erling Haaland to face his former club in either Borussia Dortmund or Red Bull Salzburg exists, likewise does the chance to face Italian giants Inter Milan or Napoli.

Shakhtar Donetsk are a familiar opponent for the Blues, and should City draw the Ukrainian side, then they would travel to Warsaw, Poland for the away fixture.

Benfica's win over Dynamo Kiev has created the possibility for the likes of Bernardo Silva, Ederson, Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo to face a very familiar opponent.

Pot Four

Club Brugge, Celtic, Maccabi Haifa, Viktoria Plzen, Marseille, Rangers, Dinamo Zagreb and Copenhagen.

Manchester City could face either of Glasgow heavyweights, after both Celtic and Rangers qualified for the Champions League group stages.

Other possible pot four opponents include a trip to Denmark to face FC Copenhagen, Israel to play Maccabi Haifa, Dinamo Zagreb of Croatia or Viktoria Plzen of the Czech Republic.

French side Marseille had automatically qualified and will also be in pot four.

Topics:ย Manchester City, Champions League, Pep Guardiola

Harry Winters
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