The draw for the group stage of the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League was completed last week. The tournament is set to begin on September 6th. The groups are all officially in place. The Champions League is ready to commence. Real Madrid enters as the defending champions, having won their 14th title back in May.
As always, several clubs enter the tournaments as strong favorites. Among those strong favorites are Manchester City, Bayern Munich, and of course, Real Madrid. Manchester City has been chasing the title for way too long now, and they hope that the heavy investment of Erling Haaland will finally help them win their first title. In Real Madrid’s case, the only thing better than winning their 14th title is winning the title for at 15th time! As far as Bayern Munich goes, they just want to be on top again and prove that they are that good!
The group stage features several interesting encounters.
Official Champions League draw 🏆🇪🇺 #UCL #UCLdraw
Who’s gonna win the Cup? 😉 pic.twitter.com/tqqrBbXx1a
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 25, 2022
Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona
Quite an interesting history between the two clubs. In the 2019-20 tournament, Bayern Munich eliminated Barcelona from the tournament courtesy of an 8-2 result in the quarterfinals. In last season’s tournament, a 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich resulted in Barcelona failing to make it out of the group stage for the first time in over 20 years.
What is really interesting is that longtime Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is now with Barcelona. So no doubt, there is personal animosity between the two clubs. So it is only fitting for both clubs to meet in the group stage again.
Manchester City vs. Borussia Dortmund
How ironic is it that these two clubs face each other in the Champions League group stage after Haaland joins Manchester City? Haaland was previously with Borussia Dortmund, having joined the club in 2020. He scored a total of 62 goals in 67 appearances with Dortmund. Now he takes on his former club. Quite frankly, it is not the first time such a situation has taken place. But then again, surprises and unexpected encounters and/or results are what the Champions League is all about.
The two clubs previously squared off in the quarterfinals of the 2020-21 Champions League. Manchester City would go on to advance, having won both games and finishing on a 4-2 aggregate.
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