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Champions League Holds Its Draw


Real Madrid, the defending champion and winner of 5 of the last 10 Champions Leagues, will face RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk and Celtic on this 12 months’s competition after the draw was held in Istanbul on Thursday evening.

With the highest two from each of the eight groups advancing to the round-of-16 knockout stage, most of the largest teams in Europe appeared to be in strong position to advance. (The third-place teams drop into the second-tier Europa League; fourth-place teams are eliminated.)

Big-spending Paris St.-Germain, with Neymar, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé, will proceed its quest for a primary Champions League title against Juventus, Benfica and Maccabi Haifa. While a lot of the field is made up of familiar names who return to the competition 12 months after 12 months, Maccabi Haifa of Israel is returning to the group stage for the primary time since 2009-10.

Manchester City, one other big-spending team that could be a favorite despite its lack of previous titles, will face Borussia Dortmund, from whom they bought the star striker Erling Haaland in June, together with Sevilla and F.C. Copenhagen.

Barcelona remains to be spending loads of money despite its financial woes. One in every of the celebs it signed over the summer was Robert Lewandowski, a striker for the perennial German champion Bayern Munich. Those teams will meet within the Champions League, in a bunch with Inter Milan and Viktoria Plzen.

As for the three remaining English teams, all of them look to have good possibilities to advance. Liverpool, last season’s runner-up, will face Ajax, Napoli and Rangers. The 2 big Glasgow teams, Celtic and Rangers, are within the group stage together for the primary time since 2007.

Chelsea will tackle AC Milan, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic still in search of a primary Champions League title within the twilight of his profession, plus Red Bull Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb.

And Spurs will face Eintracht Frankfurt, Sporting Lisbon and Marseille.

The ultimate group, which many pundits saw because the weakest one, consists of Porto, Atlético Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and Club Brugge.

One wrinkle for Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine is that it’s scheduled to play its home games in Poland due to the continued war. (Russian teams have been banned from European competition entirely.)

The group stage will run on a compressed schedule from Sept. 6 to Nov. 2, covering nine weeks moderately than the same old 13 or so due to World Cup in Qatar in late November.

The Champions League Final will probably be played on June 10 in Istanbul, which was to have hosted the 2020 after which the 2021 final, but lost each due to coronavirus.

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