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UEFA Champions League 2022/23 Round of 16 Draw

The 2023/2024 Champions League Draw Preview

♪ The Championnnnnns ♪

Happy UEFA Champion’s League Eve, everyone! While qualifiers for the Champions League have been raging all summer, tomorrow marks the official beginning of the tournament with the UCL Draw at 12:00 pm EST. With tomorrow’s draw, Borussia Dortmund will find out their three group stage opponents. The Pots are as follows:

POT 1: Manchester City, F.C Barcelona, Bayern Munich, PSG, Napoli, Sevilla, Benfica, and Feyenoord

POT 2: Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig, Porto, and Arsenal

POT 3: Shakhtar Donetsk, Red Bull Salzburg, AC Milan, Lazio, Red Star Belgrade, Braga, PSV Eindhoven, FC Kobenhaven

POT 4: Newcastle United, Union Berlin, Lens, Real Sociedad, Celtic, Galatasaray, Young Boys, Royal Antwerp

Manchester City Trophy Parade Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Due to UEFA regulations, Borussia Dortmund cannot draw German opposition and will not be facing off against Bayern Munich or Union Berlin from pots one and four respectively. Despite this, all pots hold stout competition for Terzic’s side. In Pot 1, reigning champions and Premier League winners, Manchester City are the scariest opponent alongside Lewandowski and Co’s Barcelona or Mbappe’s retooled PSG. Fortunately, being in Pot 2 sees Dortmund miss out on a reunion with Jude Bellingham, Arteta’s highflying Arsenal, or Atletico Madrid. The two Italian sides, AC Milan and Lazio, are the two sides to avoid in Pot 3 while Newcastle United and Real Sociedad will both be aiming to reach the Round of 16 despite being in Pot 4.

To me, the scariest draw for Borussia Dortmund looks like this: F.C Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, and Newcastle United. While this doesn’t include Manchester City, who are favorites to win the entire tournament, it has Dortmund pitted against three teams that are, and should be, aiming to finish top of their groups.

The best group possible, albeit potentially boring, would be: Feynoord, Borussia Dortmund, Red Star Belgrade, and Royal Antwerp. While Feynoord and Red Star Belgrade present two of the most difficult atmospheres to visit in European soccer, Dortmund should have a massive talent advantage over both these teams. I have also tagged Royal Antwerp as the weakest team in this year’s tournament as the Belgian side are making their return to Champions League play for the first time since the 1950s.

Much more important than my picks, however, is what a random UCL Draw Simulator decides. For my draw, the computer overlords paired Dortmund against Manchester City, PSV Eindhoven, and Young Boys. After watching PSV demolish Celtic in Eindhoven today, I have my doubts Dortmund would make it out of this group. To see what your draw looks like, click the link here.

Your Thoughts

What does your ideal draw look like? What are the teams to avoid? Most importantly, what did your generated draw look like?

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