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Every Champions League team ranked by their chances of winning the tournament

Tom Marshall-Bailey

| Last updated 

Every Champions League team ranked by their chances of winning the tournament

The Champions League group-stage draw for 2023/24 has been confirmed and some tasty-looking groups have been thrown up.

Newcastle's first taste of Europe's premier competition since 2002/03 will see them go head-to-head with French champions PSG, seven-time winners AC Milan, as well as Bundesliga runners-up Borussia Dortmund in a group of death.

Arsenal will be pleased with their group, having been drawn against Sevilla, PSV Eindhoven and RC Lens, while Manchester United have Bayern Munich, Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen to get past.

Manchester City probably have the simplest group of all, having been handed RB Leipzig, Red Star Belgrade and Young Boys.



Attention has already turned towards which teams will be fancying their chances of going all the way in the competition.

So we decided to rank all 32 by their chances of winning, from outsider down to favourite.

32 - Royal Antwerp


The second lowest team ranked in the tournament by their UEFA coefficient. Barcelona will stroll through Group H and Porto would be backed to finish second while Shakhtar Donetsk are seasoned veterans at this level. It's also their first-ever time in Europe's top competition so it's difficult to see anything other than an early exit.

31 - Young Boys

Another team who have two tough teams in their group to overcome in Manchester City and RB Leipzig. A third-place finish might not be out of the question given Red Star Belgrade are the other opponents but it's difficult to envisage them getting far.

30 - RC Lens


In Arsenal's group which, while a dream for the Premier League outfit, is actually competitive otherwise. Sevilla are bottom of La Liga currently but do have European pedigree and PSV Eindhoven have undergone a transitional summer. They have a chance but are novices at this level.

29 - Union Berlin

Another Champions League debutant but one who, have at least, shown some form to back that up this season and currently sit joint top of the Bundesliga standings. Inexperience may get the better of them.

28 - FC Copenhagen


They are a Pot 3 side and yet it feels like they will be the team that struggles most in Manchester United's group. I would expect Galatasaray to be a sterner test given some of their summer recruits.

27 - Celtic

In a tough-looking group and have had a slightly sticky start to the season, with boss Brendan Rodgers already feeling pressure ahead of this weekend's Old Firm meeting. They will do well to get out of a group containing Feyenoord, Atletico Madrid and Lazio.

26 - Red Star Belgrade


I expect City to walk their group, with Leipzig in (fairly) close pursuit. Probably one of the groups that looks to have a very clear 1-2 finish compared to others.

25 - Braga

See above. I think Napoli and Real Madrid will have too much for the Portuguese, along with Union Berlin.

24 - Galatasaray

I still would expect a third-placed finish even if United's trip there represents a potential banana skin.

23 - Real Sociedad

First time competing at this level since 2013/14 and that will probably tell against European powerhouses like Inter and Benfica. They have a chance of getting out of Group D but I expect them to come up short.

22 - PSV Eindhoven

Having lost Cody Gakpo earlier this year and the talented Xavi Simons in the summer - and they could still lose Ibrahim Sangare - it looks a tall order for them in Arsenal's group, even given Sevilla's current difficulties.

21 - RB Salzburg

A talented team who I think could push Benfica and Inter close in their group but they will be content with a third-placed finish and I can see it being tight between them and Sociedad in this group.

20 - Shakhtar Donetsk

They will play their home matches in Hamburg due to the continuing conflict between Ukraine and Russia and I do wonder if that will impact them this season, particularly up against Barca and Porto.

19 - Newcastle United

Realistically, they could not have asked for a worse group. It will be tight between them and Borussia Dortmund for a third-placed finish and their summer signings will boost their cause but after so long away from playing at this level, I'm still yet to convinced they have the squad depth to handle multiple games a week and think they could bow out early.

Newcastle United are back in the Champions League. (Credit: Getty)
Newcastle United are back in the Champions League. (Credit: Getty)

18 - RB Leipzig

Should qualify along with City from their group but they will almost certainly finish second and I think they will then be one of the weaker teams in the first knockout round and therefore vulnerable.

17 - Porto

Another similar situation to Leipzig. They should qualify alongside Barcelona but most likely in second place from Group H.

16 - Feyenoord

I think Lazio and a savvy Atletico Madrid side will get the better of them in this group - but I think it might be the tightest group of all.

15 - Sevilla

A team who are here thanks to their Europa League win last season and, given how they went toe-to-toe with City in the European Super Cup, they shouldn't be taken lightly. However, they are currently bottom of La Liga and transfer-listed their entire squad earlier this summer.

14 - Lazio

They only narrowly squeeze in here ahead of Feyenoord. Might be one of the tougher away ties too in a first-round knockout tie.

13 - Benfica

The loss of Goncalo Ramos is a key blow to them but they will progress from their group and have the talent in their ranks to make a knockout tie competitive, depending on who they draw.

12 - Borussia Dortmund

I think the departure of Jude Bellingham will impact them and, while I think they are capable of getting through their group - it will be tight between them and AC Milan - I don't see them going too much further.

11 - Inter Milan

Last year's beaten finalists are still a force to be reckoned with but it felt like they were the beneficiaries of a kind draw last season rather than being Europe's second most outstanding side. They will comfortably progress to the knockouts but I think will depart much earlier this time round.

Inter Milan lost in the final to Manchester City last season. Image: Getty
Inter Milan lost in the final to Manchester City last season. Image: Getty

10 - Atletico Madrid

The Spanish giants have started this season strongly and look free-scoring compared to their usual standards. They are capable of mixing it with Europe's best and represent one of the tougher nuts to crack away from home in this competition. Diego Simeone will have his team well-drilled for any opposition but I think they might just be lacking the quality to go any further than a quarter-final at the most.

9 - AC Milan

Have started this season promisingly and boast incredible pedigree at this level but like their city rivals, I think they might get found out earlier in the competition this time round. Sandro Tonali will be a big loss but keeping Rafael Leao gives them a chance against most teams in this tournament.

8 - Napoli

Italy's chief threat, with Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia offering the kind of attacking threat many teams would love to boast in their ranks. They have bought well this summer too and while Kim Min-jae's departure is a blow, they still have a squad that can compete with the best.

7 - Manchester United

Barring a huge end to this transfer window or a transformative January, it's difficult to see United going all the way. There is huge pressure on Rasmus Hojlund to score the goals they need, while I am not sure Mason Mount, Sofyan Amrabat and Sergio Reguilon turn the needle enough for this team to really compete with the best at this level.

6 - PSG

The French outfit still have Kylian Mbappe in their ranks and therefore cannot be discounted. But they are also undergoing transformation with both Neymar and Lionel Messi having left and it will take time to gel a new-looking team together. Their quality should get them to the quarters as a minimum - but they may come unstuck against the better attacks in the competition.

5 - Barcelona

They have proven quality at this level and in Robert Lewandowski have a striker who will put fear into most defences. Yet there are still some question marks with a raft of departures and uncertainties over the registration of players still looming over the club.

4 - Arsenal

This will probably prompt the most scoffing and reaction but the Gunners pushed one of the best teams we have ever seen in Manchester City close last season and have added a transformative player to their team in Declan Rice. Mikel Arteta still needs to figure out his best XI and I do think their league form could be impacted by this competition but their group-stage draw offers a chance to secure early qualification and rest players. They have the talent in their ranks to go to the quarters - and maybe even further.

Arsenal could surprise people this season. Credit: Getty
Arsenal could surprise people this season. Credit: Getty

3 - Real Madrid

The only question against this group of players is how they adapt in a post-Karim Benzema world. Vinicius Jr, Bellingham and Fede Valverde, among others, is as good as it gets and yet it still feels like they lack the focal point they may require in the latter stages when the ties become tighter and can often be settled by the odd goal.

2 - Bayern Munich

Harry Kane's firepower will give Bayern a weapon they didn't have last season and the way he has settled seamlessly into life there suggests he can take them far in this tournament. They have recruited well this summer and have a manager in Thomas Tuchel who has already proven he has what it takes to win this trophy.

1 - Manchester City

It's difficult to look past Pep Guardiola's treble winners. They have lost Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez but their signings this summer add true quality to their ranks and Erling Haaland looks primed to have another brilliant season. The only potential problem for them is if Kevin De Bruyne's injury problems prove to be an issue into the new year but they will breeze their group stage and past most opponents in the knockouts. I am backing them to win it again.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

Topics: Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Champions League, Paris Saint-Germain

Tom Marshall-Bailey
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