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Meet the Champions League group stage teams

Key players, top signings, ones to watch and more: all you need to know about the 32 teams in the 2023/24 group stage.

The line-up for the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League features 15 domestic title holders and 14 former European champions. UEFA.com profiles all the contenders after the group stage draw.

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Who is in the Champions League group stage?

Group A: Bayern (GER), Man United (ENG), Copenhagen (DEN), Galatasaray (TUR)
Group B: Sevilla (ESP), Arsenal (ENG), PSV Eindhoven (NED), Lens (FRA)
Group C: Napoli (ITA), Real Madrid (ESP), Braga (POR), Union Berlin (GER)
Group D: Benfica (POR), Inter (ITA), Salzburg (AUT), Real Sociedad (ESP)
Group E: Feyenoord (NED), Atlético de Madrid (ESP), Lazio (ITA), Celtic (SCO)
Group F: Paris (FRA), Dortmund (GER), Milan (ITA), Newcastle (ENG)
Group G: Man City (ENG), Leipzig (GER), Crvena zvezda (SRB), Young Boys (SUI)
Group H: Barcelona (ESP), Porto (POR), Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), Antwerp (BEL)

Group A

Bayern München (GER)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 2
How they qualified: German champions
Last season: Quarter-finals (L1-4agg vs Man City)
Best European Cup performance: Winners (1973/74, 1974/75, 1975/76, 2000/01, 2012/13, 2019/20)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer last season: Leon Goretzka 50

Coach: Thomas Tuchel
Impressed with Mainz and Dortmund before leading Paris to a domestic treble and Champions League final in 2019/20. Took over at Chelsea in January 2021 and led them to victory in the Champions League final in a matter of months. Returned to Germany with Bayern in March this year and steered them home in the title race.

Key player: Jamal Musiala
The 20-year-old has established himself as one of the first names on the team sheet with performances displaying a maturity beyond his years, not least when scoring the late winner that sealed another Bundesliga title on the final day. A delightful dribbler, a productive playmaker and an efficient goalscorer, 'Magic Musiala' has more than a few shades of a young Lionel Messi.

Big summer signing: Harry Kane
The England captain established himself as one of the best forwards in the world during his time with boyhood club Tottenham and is their all-time top scorer with 280 goals in all competitions. Twenty-one of those came in the Champions League for the north Londoners, and Kane will be keen to add plenty more to that tally at Bayern, though his incredible range of passing and strong link-up play means he offers plenty more than just goals.

One to watch: Mathys Tel
The youngest player on our 2023 list of prospects, Tel was the youngest player ever to represent Rennes – a record he took from Eduardo Camavinga. At 17, the forward became Bayern's youngest goalscorer in a competitive match.

2022/23 season
Bayern made it three group campaigns with maximum points in four years, an impressive feat given Barcelona and Inter were in their section, but they could not halt the Man City juggernaut in the last eight. A shock German Cup defeat against Freiburg, also in the quarter-finals, threatened to leave them without silverware, only for Tuchel's men to snatch the Bundesliga title from Dortmund in the final minutes of a thrilling final day.

Did you know?
Eleven teams have made it through the group stage with the full 18 points but Bayern are the only club to do so on three occasions.

Manchester United (ENG)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 7
How they qualified: Third in England
Last season: Europa League quarter-finals
Best European Cup performance: Winners (1967/68, 1998/99, 2007/08)

Coach: Erik ten Hag
The Dutch coach ended the Red Devils' six-year wait for a trophy by lifting the League Cup in his first season in charge. He guided Ajax to the league and cup double in 2018/19 and 2020/21, and only missed out on an appearance in the 2019 Champions League final after a last-gasp semi-final defeat to Tottenham.

Key player: Marcus Rashford
After registering just five times in 2021/22, the England forward struck 30 goals across all competitions for his boyhood club last term, his best season tally in a United shirt. The 25-year-old has struggled with injury problems in the past but is now playing some of the best football of his career under Ten Hag's stewardship.

Big summer signing: Mason Mount
Named by Chelsea supporters as the club's player of the year in 2020/21 and 2021/22, Mount also helped Chelsea overcome Man City in the 2021 Champions League final. The England international missed the final three months of last season with a pelvic injury but will hope to add fresh impetus to the Red Devils' midfield in the coming campaign.

One to watch: Alejandro Garnacho
The 19-year-old wide man, whose dribbling ability has drawn comparisons with former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, made an impact from the United bench several times last season, including winning goals in Premier League and Europa League games. Another touted in UEFA.com's 2023 prospects.

2022/23 season
United's Europa League campaign appeared destined for glory until Sevilla's magic saw off the Red Devils in the quarter-finals, but Ten Hag's side had more luck in domestic cup competitions, winning the English League Cup and only falling at the final hurdle to rivals City in the FA Cup. Returned to the top four in the Premier League, underpinned by some stunning home form.

Did you know?
Since the start of the 2006/07 season, United have topped their Champions League group in nine of their 13 appearances.

Copenhagen (DEN)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 44
How they qualified: Danish champions, play-off winners (W2-1agg vs Raków)
Last season: Group stage (fourth place)
Best European Cup performance: Round of 16 (1993/94, 2010/11)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer last season: Viktor Claessen 22

Coach: Jacob Neestrup
Born in Copenhagen, he came through the club's youth system before injuries hindered his playing career. Neestrup switched to coaching, taking charge of his hometown club's U17 team, before being handed the Viborg top job. He returned to Copenhagen as assistant to manager Jess Thorup's, before taking the reins in 2022 to lead them to the double, aged just 35.

Key player: Viktor Claesson
Earning nearly 70 caps for Sweden over the past 11 years, the midfielder played important roles for Elfsborg and Krasnodar before joining Copenhagen last season. In a successful first full campaign at Parken, the 31-year-old scored a career high of 17 goals across all competitions.

Big summer signing: Mohamed Elyounoussi
A regular scorer for his previous club's Sarpsborg, Molde, Basel and Celtic, he signed for Copenhagen on a free transfer in July, following Southampton's relegation from the English Premier League. The 29-year-old’s directness and industry backs up his goal threat.

One to watch: Elias Jelert
The right-back has only recently turned 20, but made 26 league appearances last term in his breakout season. A diligent defender, he is confident with the ball at his feet and not afraid to play out from the back.

2022/23 season
The domestic double ensured Copenhagen equalled the record for Danish league titles and domestic cup successes. Both trophies were hard-fought, though, with Neestrup's men only climbing to the summit with three games remaining and edging AaB in the cup final. They draw their three Champions League group stage home games against Sevilla, Man City and Dortmund but lost all three away.

Did you know?
This is the first time that Copenhagen have made it to the group stage in consecutive seasons.

Galatasaray (TUR)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 55
How they qualified: Turkish champions, play-off winners (W5-3agg vs Molde)
Last season: Not in European competition
Best European Cup performance: Semi-finals (1988/89)

Coach: Okan Buruk
Scooped several league and cup trophies, plus the 2000 UEFA Cup, during a decorated playing career with Galatasaray and won 56 caps for Turkey. Silverware has followed him as a coach, too, as he led Akhisarspor to the Turkish Cup and İstanbul Başakşehir to Super League success before repeating that feat at Galatasaray last term.

Key player: Mauro Icardi
Scored 23 goals in 26 games in all competitions while on loan last season and made the switch permanent from Paris in the summer. The 30-year-old forward, who made his name as a prolific striker with Inter, is equally clinical with his head, strong and possesses great movement.

Big summer signing: Hakim Ziyech
Has a Champions League winners' medal from his time at Chelsea but it was during Ajax's run to the 2018/19 semi-finals that he showed his best form in the competition. Now 30, the Moroccan, like Icardi, is blessed with flair and the ability to add spectacular goals to his supply of assists.

One to watch: Victor Nelsson
Impressed for Nordsjælland and Copenhagen in his home country, breaking into the Danish national team as a result. The imposing 24-year-old is now in his third season at Galatasaray and has been a rock at the heart of their defence due to his reading of the game and physicality.

2022/23 season
Finished eight points clear in the title race as they topped the Turkish championship for the first time since 2018/19, though İstanbul Başakşehir ended their double dreams in the quarter-finals. Though prolific going forwards, their league success was underpinned by a miserly defence with only 27 goals conceded.

Did you know?
Galatasaray last made the round of 16 in 2013/14 and have failed to make it out of their group in the last four attempts.

Group B

Sevilla (ESP)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 12
How they qualified: Europa League winners
Last season: Group stage (Europa League winners)
Best European Cup performance: Quarter-finals (1957/58, 2017/18)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer last season: Ivan Rakitić 18

Coach: José Luis Mendilibar
The 62-year-old had never coached above the lower reaches of La Liga before his surprise appointment in March. Lost just two of his first 16 games in charge as his side quickly allayed relegation fears before guiding them to a seventh Europa League crown.

Key player: Youssef En-Nesyri
The Moroccan forward combines energy, pace, power and directness up top and is a nightmare for defenders. He scored twice in four group-stage appearances last season before netting a further four in Sevilla's triumphant Europa League campaign, including a double in the quarter-final second leg against Man United.

Big summer signing: Loïc Badé
After impressing on loan from Rennes last season, Sevilla decided to make the signing of the 23-year-old defender permanent. The France U21 international made six appearances in Sevilla's most recent Europa League-winning run, and scored a crucial goal in the 3-0 last-eight win against the Red Devils.

One to watch: Tanguy Nianzou
A commanding and dominant centre-back, Nianzou has already gained valuable experience after spells at Paris and Bayern before joining Sevilla. The 21-year-old scored his first Champions League goal for the Andalusians in the 1-1 draw with Dortmund last season.

2022/23 season
Sevilla were just two points above the relegation zone when Mendilibar took the reins in March and the turnaround in their fortunes was marked. They won six of their next eight Liga games to ensure top-flight safety, translating their upturn in domestic fortunes on to the European stage too. Man United and Juventus were dispatched before they edged out Roma on penalties to seal a record-extending seventh Europa League title.

Did you know?
Sevilla have lost only two of their last 13 Champions League matches away from their own stadium.

Arsenal (ENG)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 23
How they qualified: Second in England
Last season: Europa League round of 16
Best European Cup performance: Runners-up (2005/06)

Coach: Mikel Arteta
Assistant to Pep Guardiola at Man City from 2016 to 2019, Arteta guided the Gunners to a 14th FA Cup title in his first season in charge. After eighth and fifth-placed Premier League finishes in 2021 and 2022 respectively, Arteta's team led the way for 248 days last term before ending as runners-up.

Key player: Martin Ødegaard
After joining the club from Real Madrid in August 2021, Ødegaard was made captain for the final eight league games of the 2021/22 campaign before taking over as permanent skipper last term. Known for his incisive passing and playmaking abilities, he registered 15 goals and eight assists in the league last season to fuel the Gunners' title challenge.

Big summer signing: Declan Rice
Released by Chelsea as a 14-year-old, Rice not only went on to establish himself as West Ham's talisman but a regular starter in the heart of England's midfield. He ended his time with the Hammers in some style, helping David Moyes' side beat Fiorentina in the 2023 Europa Conference League final.

One to watch: William Saliba
A key part of the Gunners side that stormed to the Premier League summit in the first half of 2022/23, Saliba suffered a back injury in March which kept him out for the rest of the campaign. The 2019 signing from St-Étienne has since committed his future to the club until 2027 and will be keen to recapture his best form this term.

2022/23 season
Arsenal made their best ever start to a Premier League season and made all the running in the title race until being hunted down by a relentless Man City side at the business end. The eventual champions also scuppered the Gunners' FA Cup hopes in the fourth round, while their wait for more European silverware stretched to 39 years after being pipped on penalties by Sporting CP in the Europa League last 16.

Did you know?
The Gunners made it out of the group in their last seven Champions League campaigns – between 2010/11 and 2016/17 – but were eliminated in the round of 16 on every occasion.


UEFA coefficient ranking: 41
How they qualified: Second in Netherlands, play-off winners (W7-3agg vs Rangers)
Last season: Play-offs, Europa League knockout round play-offs
Best European Cup performance: Winners (1987/88)

Coach: Peter Bosz
A self-confessed disciple of the Cruyff/Guardiola school, who likes his teams to press aggressively and dominate possession. He's already notched his first silverware with PSV – the Johan Cruyff Shield – but would dearly love to claim his first top-tier league title while taking the Eindhoven club deep into Europe.

Key player: Luuk de Jong
The club captain has played in England, Germany and Spain, but he seems most at home in the red and white of PSV. A leader of the line, consistent scorer and arguably the best header of the ball in the country, De Jong's value to the side can't be overstated.

Big summer signing: Noa Lang
This fleet-footed winger is back in the Netherlands after a successful spell in Belgium, where he helped Club Brugge win the league and Super Cup. On his day, the established Oranje international can bamboozle any defence. At 24, Lang's best years are still ahead of him.

One to watch: Johan Bakayoko
Only 20, Bakayoko has already established himself as a Belgian international. He brings width, speed, great dribbling ability and an eye for goal to the PSV attack. He broke into the first team last season, and will almost certainly be a regular first-choice pick this time round.

2022/23 season
Runners-up in the league for the third season in a row, PSV did claim silverware when they squeezed past rivals Ajax on penalties in the Dutch Cup final. Their Champions League campaign was ended by Rangers in the play-offs – making this season's victory over the Scottish side sweeter – while they fell under Sevilla's Europa League spell after easing through their group.

Did you know?
Before eliminating Rangers, PSV had only reached the Champions League once in the last ten years via the qualification route. That was in 2018/2019, when the Eindhoven side – as Eredivisie champions – eliminated BATE Borisov 6-2 on aggregate in the play-offs.

Lens (FRA)

UEFA coefficient ranking: N/A
How they qualified: Second in France
Last season: Not in European competition
Best European Cup performance: Group stage (1998/99, 2002/03)

Coach: Franck Haise
Spent most of his 16-year playing career in France's second tier but his first three full seasons at Lens have been in the top flight following their promotion in 2021. Back-to-back seventh-place finishes were impressive enough before their superb campaign last year, underpinned by Ligue 1's most miserly defence and his tactical astuteness.

Key player: Kevin Danso
The commanding centre-back is the key component of a Lens defence that conceded just 29 goals in their 38 Ligue 1 matches last season. The Austrian international, who will be 25 on Matchday 1, has the experience to become even more of a leader as his side look to overcome the departures of Seko Fofana and Loïs Openda.

Big summer signing: Elye Wahi
The talented forward came through the academy at Montpellier before quickly establishing himself as a key first-team player. Last season he scored 19 goals in 33 appearances in Ligue 1, and became the second youngest player ever to reach a total of 25 goals in the competition. Wahi is also a regular member of the France U21 squad.

One to watch: Andy Diouf
The former Rennes youngster moved to Basel, initially on loan, at the start of last season and made an astonishing 57 appearances in his only season in Switzerland. Still only 20, he returned to France this summer off the back of being named 2022/23 UEFA Europa Conference League Young Player of the Season.

2022/23 season
Lens finished as Ligue 1 runners-up for the first time since 2002 and pushed Paris all the way in the title race. Haise's side only lost once before the end of January and won 11 of their last 12 games to end the season a point behind the champions. Their downturn in between coincided with their Coupe de France quarter-final exit at the hands of Nantes.

Did you know?
Lens were still in contention to progress from the group stage on Matchday 6 in both their previous seasons in the competition but just missed out on both occasions.

Group C

Napoli (ITA)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 19
How they qualified: Italian champions
Last season: Quarter-finals (L1-2agg vs Milan)
Best European Cup performance: Quarter-finals (2022/23)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer last season: Giovanni Di Lorenzo 70

Coach: Rudi Garcia
Garcia has enjoyed spells with Roma, Marseille and Lyon since guiding Lille to the Ligue 1 and French Cup double in 2011. He spent nine months at Saudi club Al-Nassr before being confirmed as Luciano Spalletti's replacement in June.

Key player: Victor Osimhen
The Nigerian's performances for Napoli earned him Serie A's Best Young Player award for the 2021/22 campaign. He struck 24 league goals in his first two seasons with the Partenopei but hit another level last term, finishing as the division's top goalscorer and with 31 goals in 39 games in all competitions.

Big summer signing: Jesper Lindstrøm
The attacking midfielder made his senior debut for Brøndby as an 18-year-old and quickly established himself as a first-team regular before moving to Frankfurt in summer 2021. He registered five goals and nine assists in his first season in Germany, helping the club win the Europa League in 2022. He netted the Eagles' first-ever Champions League goal in a 1-0 victory against Marseille, and was also part of the Denmark squad at the 2022 World Cup.

One to watch: Eljif Elmas
The former Rabotnički and Fenerbahçe midfielder joined Napoli in 2019 and has continuously contributed despite making the majority of his appearances from the bench. A clutch player for North Macedonia too, starring in their historic run to UEFA EURO 2020 and scoring the winner away to Germany in 2022 World Cup qualifying.

2022/23 season
Napoli were almost untouchable until the end of March, storming way clear of the pack in Serie A and cruising through to the last eight of the Champions League under Spalletti. Defeat to Milan in those quarter-finals put a slight dampener on proceedings but a first league title since the Diego Maradona-inspired 1990 vintage ensured their season ended on a high.

Did you know?
Napoli were the top scorers in last season's group stage with 20 goals, making them the first Italian team to score 20 times in a Champions League group.

Real Madrid (ESP)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 5
How they qualified: Second in Spain
Last season: Semi-finals (L1-5agg vs Man City)
Best European Cup performance: Winners (1955/56, 1956/57, 1957/58, 1958/59, 1959/60, 1965/66, 1997/98, 1999/2000, 2001/02, 2013/14, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2021/22)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer last season: Vinícius Júnior 93

Coach: Carlo Ancelotti
The man who led Madrid to 'La Décima' in 2014 came back for a second spell in charge in summer 2021 and rewrote the history books by becoming the first coach to win the European Cup/Champions League four times. Cruised to the Liga title in 2021/22, making him the first coach to win championships in Italy, England, France, Germany and Spain.

Key player: Vinícius Júnior
Ancelotti said his mercurial No20 is "the most decisive player in the world" and 45 goals in the past two seasons back up that claim. The Brazilian was one of only two Madrid players – Thibaut Courtois was the other – to be named in the 2022/23 Champions League Team of the Season.

Big summer signing: Jude Bellingham
England international Bellingham's move to Madrid has been one of the most eye-catching of the summer, and after inheriting Zinedine Zidane's iconic No5 shirt it is clear big things are expected of one of European football's most talented midfielders at the Santiago Bernabéu.

One to watch: Arda Güler
Dubbed the 'Turkish Messi' due to his dribbling ability and penetrating passing, the summer signing from Fenerbahçe became the youngest goalscorer in Süper Lig history in 2022 and the youngest player to represent Turkey since 2008. Still only 18, the attacking midfielder was also listed in UEFA.com's 2023 prospects.

2022/23 season
A 5-2 triumph against Liverpool at Anfield in the round of 16 suggested they were hitting their stride at the right time again, but a rampant Man City proved too strong in the semi-finals as Ancelotti's men lost their European crown. Though Barcelona got the better of them in La Liga, Madrid did at least end the season with silverware after scooping the Club World Cup and Copa del Rey.

Did you know?
Real Madrid have never failed to make it through the group stage of the Champions League.

Braga (POR)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 40
How they qualified: Third in Portugal, play-off winners (W3-1agg vs Panathinaikos)
Last season: Europa League group stage, Europa Conference League knockout round play-offs
Best European Cup performance: Group stage (2010/11, 2012/13)

Coach: Artur Jorge
After a remarkable debut season, guiding hometown club Braga to third in Portugal and qualifying for the Champions League, Artur Jorge is now attempting the next step at home and abroad. A former defender who spent all but one season at Braga, he sets his team up to play attractive, attacking football.

Key player: Bruma
The Portugal winger joined Braga on loan from Fenerbahçe in January and immediately impressed. The former Sporting CP, Galatasaray, Leipzig and PSV man struck twice on his debut and his speed and exquisite technique provided a constant threat. The club moved quickly to make the deal permanent this summer.

Big summer signing: João Moutinho
Second only to Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal appearances, the veteran midfielder arrived from Wolves this summer and brings with him an enormous wealth of experience at the highest level. He could be the perfect complement to the combative Al Musrati in midfield.

One to watch: Álvaro Djaló
Despite strong competition in attack, the Spanish winger continues to reward his coach's faith. Since making his league debut in August 2022, the 24-year-old has delivered good performances and goals, and began his second season as a senior player in top form.

2022/23 season
Couldn't quite keep pace with Benfica and Porto in the title race but they have not finished higher than third since their second-place effort of 2009/10. Reached the Portuguese Cup final too, losing to Porto, but failed to make it out of their Europa League group – albeit with ten points – and were roundly beaten by Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League.

Did you know?
Braga wore green and white until 1946, when they changed their kits to red and white in homage to Arsenal. In their first season in the new livery, Braga won their first major honour, the second division title, to earn promotion to the top flight for the first time. They are known as Os Arsenalistas.

Union Berlin (GER)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 94
How they qualified: Fourth in Germany
Last season: Europa League round of 16
Best European Cup performance: First appearance

Coach: Urs Fischer
First appointed Union head coach in June 2018, the Swiss guided the club into the Bundesliga in his first season at the helm before securing an 11th-placed finish the following year. After earning a Europa Conference League spot in 2021, Fischer steered his side into the Europa League the following season before last term's memorable top-four finish.

Key player: Rani Khedira
A Stuttgart academy graduate and the younger brother of World Cup winner Sami, Khedira missed only one Bundesliga game in 2022/23 as Union upset the odds to secure a group-stage berth. A natural holding midfielder, Khedira helps link defence and attack in one of Germany's most effective counterattacking outfits.

Big summer signing: Brenden Aaronson
The 22-year-old attacking midfielder joins on loan from Leeds, for whom Aaronson was a regular starter during the 2022/23 campaign. The United States international showed glimpses of his potential at Elland Road, memorably scoring in a 3-0 Premier League victory over Chelsea in August 2022.

One to watch: David Datro Fofana
Another from our watchlist at the start of 2023, Fofana racked up 15 goals in 24 league games as Molde stormed to the Norwegian title and earned his first two caps for the Ivory Coast in November before moving to Chelsea. Should see more game time following his loan move to Germany.

2022/23 season
Continued to create history by registering their highest finish in the Bundesliga era, ending fourth in only their fourth season in the competition. Though Frankfurt ended their German Cup hopes in the quarter-finals, there was another first in Europe as they successfully made it out of the Europa League group stage then eliminated Ajax before falling to Union SG.

Did you know?
Union are playing in European competition for a third season in a row. Their only previous campaign was the 2001/02 UEFA Cup.

Group D

Benfica (POR)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 17
How they qualified: Portuguese champions
Last season: Quarter-finals (L3-5agg vs Inter)
Best European Cup performance: Winners (1960/61, 1961/62)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer last season: Alejandro Grimaldo 66

Coach: Roger Schmidt
The former midfielder announced his arrival in European football when he steered Salzburg to a domestic double in 2013/14. Led Bayer Leverkusen in his native Germany and PSV Eindhoven to the 2022 Dutch Cup before guiding Benfica to the title at the first attempt.

Key player: Rafa Silva
A special character: quiet and capable of conjuring something from nothing. Schmidt has managed to harness the experienced 30-year-old's powers to make the most of his capacity to run with the ball and create panic in any defence. He weighs in with goals and also contributes defensively, working hard in the press.

Big summer signing: Ángel Di María
Returning to Benfica 13 years after leaving for Real Madrid, the 35-year-old's most productive and trophy-laden stints came with the Spanish giants and Paris. He hauled in six league titles and 11 domestic trophies between those clubs while also getting his hands on the Champions League trophy in 2014 and the World Cup with Argentina last year.

One to watch: João Neves
At just 18, Neves was key in the latter stages last season as the club secured their 38th league title. He is a hard-working, classy midfielder blessed with pace and stamina, and equally adapt in defence as in attack. A UEFA Youth League and Under-20 Intercontinental Cup winner in 2022, he has excellent passing and tactical skills, combined with his versatility.

2022/23 season
Benfica were one of the brightest lights in last season's group stage, topping a section containing Paris and Juventus with an unbeaten record, and were too strong for Club Brugge before Inter ended their impressive run. Braga squeezed out the Eagles on penalties in the Portuguese Cup quarter-finals but Schmidt's men had the final say in the season, holding their nerve to end a four-year wait for another league title.

Did you know?
In last season's Champions League, Benfica won six games in a single edition for the first time, became the first Portuguese team to reach the quarter-finals in consecutive seasons and registered their biggest home and away wins in the competition.

Inter (ITA)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 11
How they qualified: Third in Italy
Last season: Runners-up (L0-1 vs Man City)
Best European Cup performance: Winners (1963/64, 1964/65, 2009/10)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer last season: Alessandro Bastoni 76

Coach: Simone Inzaghi
A Serie A and three-time Coppa Italia winner as a player with Lazio, the 47-year-old also brought a domestic cup to Rome as a coach. Took over from Antonio Conte at Inter in summer 2021, winning the domestic Super Cup and Coppa Italia in his first campaign at the helm. Retained both those trophies and reached the Champions League final last season.

Key player: Lautaro Martínez
'The Bull' ended the 2021/22 campaign with 25 goals in 49 appearances across all competitions – his best haul since arriving in Milan from Racing Club in 2018 – but went three goals better last term, winning the World Cup with Argentina in the middle of a stellar season.

Big summer signing: Marcus Thuram
The former Sochaux and Guingamp player heads to Italy off the back of his most prolific season, having bagged 16 goals in 32 games for Mönchengladbach, and having played an important role as France reached the World Cup final. A threat from wide areas and capable of playing up top, the 26-year-old's versatility will impress Inzaghi.

One to watch: Kristjan Asllani
Thrown straight into the Empoli midfield on their return to Serie A in 2021/22, the Albanian international made such an impression that Inter swooped to bring him in on loan last term with an obligation to buy this summer. The 21-year-old says he learned a lot from Marcelo Brozović and Hakan Çalhanoğlu and he may put that knowledge into practice now the former has left the club.

2022/23 season
Navigating a group containing Bayern and Barcelona was an impressive start to their campaign last term and a miserly defence provided the backbone for them to see off Porto, Benfica and Milan to reach the final, where they had their chances to upset Man City. They did, however, take the final step in the Italian Super Cup – against Milan again – and the Coppa Italia.

Did you know?
Last season Inter became just the fourth side to take a two-goal lead in the opening 11 minutes of a Champions League semi-final match, after Juventus vs Manchester United (1999), Manchester United vs Arsenal (2009) and Manchester City vs Real Madrid (2022).

Salzburg (AUT)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 27
How they qualified: Austrian champions
Last season: Group stage, Europa League round of 32
Best European Cup performance: Round of 16 (2021/22)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer last season: Nicolas Seiwald 32

Coach: Gerhard Struber
The 46-year-old Austrian began his coaching career at FC Liefering before spells at Wolfsberg and English side Barnsley. He was most recently at MLS team New York Red Bulls, guiding them to the play-offs two seasons in a row. Struber made the move to Salzburg in the summer and is set to experience Champions League football for the first time.

Key player: Strahinja Pavlović
An uncompromising defender in the mould of compatriots Nemanja Vidić and Branislav Ivanović. The left-footed centre-back was snapped up by Monaco aged 19 and while the Serbian international struggled to settle in the Principality, he has quickly established himself since joining Salzburg.

Big summer signing: Alexander Schlager
The goalkeeper returned to Salzburg after five excellent seasons for LASK that earned him a first Austria cap in 2019. Relatively short for a keeper at 1.84m, what he lacks in stature Schlager makes up for with his agility and he is particularly strong with the ball at his feet.

One to watch: Amar Dedić
The 20-year-old Bosnian right-back was a virtual ever-present at Salzburg in 2022/23 after impressing on loan at Wolfsberg the previous season, and has a nice balance of defensive qualities and attacking threat.

2022/23 season
The greater experience of Chelsea and Milan in the group stage, then Roma in the Europa League knockout stages, accounted for their European campaign. They fared better domestically, however, losing only one game in winning a tenth consecutive Austrian title. They were denied a fifth straight domestic double when Sturm toppled them on penalties in the last eight of the cup.

Did you know?
In 2021/22, Salzburg became the first Austrian team to reach the knockout stage of the Champions League.

Real Sociedad (ESP)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 52
How they qualified: Fourth in Spain
Last season: Europa League round of 16
Best European Cup performance: Semi-finals (1982/83)

Coach: Imanol Alguacil
Since being appointed coach of the senior team in 2018, Alguacil has consistently had Real Sociedad punching above their weight. He led the Basque side to their first trophy since 1987 by winning the 2020 Copa del Rey, and achieved Champions League qualification for the first time in a decade by finishing fourth in La Liga last season. The 52-year-old is a hugely impressive and inspiring figure.

Key player: Mikel Merino
Former Dortmund and Newcastle midfielder Merino is arguably playing the best football of his career for La Real. He registered nine assists in La Liga last season and is also adept at breaking up play, earning comparisons to Spanish legend Xabi Alonso.

Big summer signing: Hamari Traoré
After an impressive six-year spell with French side Rennes, La Real decided to swoop for 31-year-old right-back Traoré this summer. He has plenty of experience in the Europa League and is also a regular on the international stage for Mali, having reached 47 caps ahead of this campaign.

One to watch: Takefusa Kubo
With his direct style and tricky footwork, 22-year-old Japanese winger Kubo is always a thrilling player to watch. He has lit up Anoeta Stadium with his performances since joining La Real permanently from Real Madrid in 2022, scoring nine league goals last season.

2022/23 season
Ten wins in 13 league games during the first half of the season catapulted La Real into the top four and gave them a buffer for when their form wobbled between February and mid-April. Winning at Man United was the highlight of a Europa League campaign ended by a dogged Roma defence in the last 16, while Barcelona edged them out of the Copa del Rey in the quarter-finals.

Did you know?
In their two previous Champions League group stage campaigns, La Real scored just two goals across their six home games.

Group E

Feyenoord (NED)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 35
How they qualified: Dutch champions
Last season: Europa League quarter-finals
Best European Cup performance: Winners (1969/70)

Coach: Arne Slot
A hugely experienced midfielder for PEC Zwolle, Breda and Sparta Rotterdam, Slot impressed at AZ Alkmaar in his first coaching role before landing in Feyenoord for the 2021/22 season. Guided them to the inaugural Europa Conference League final that season and the Eredivisie title last term, and signed a new contract in the summer.

Key player: Dávid Hancko
Though only 25, the Slovakian international is one of the older players in Slot's vibrant young squad and plays a key role in holding the defence together behind the high-pressing outfit. Ended up making 45 appearances last season, his first in the Netherlands following spells at Žilina, Fiorentina and Sparta Praha.

Big summer signing: Ayase Ueda
The Japanese forward made a big impression for Cercle Brugge last season, finishing the regular campaign as the joint-second highest scorer in the Belgian Pro League with 18 goals. He has also won 15 caps for his country and made his first World Cup appearance in Qatar last year during the 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica.

One to watch: Mats Wieffer
Came of age in two seasons with Excelsior before Slot brought him in to revamp the Feyenoord midfield in summer 2022. His first season in Rotterdam was equally successful, the 23-year old ending it with an Eredivisie title before starting both of the Netherlands' matches at the Nations League finals.

2022/23 season
A first Eredivisie title since 2017 was a richly deserved reward for Slot and his side after several near misses. Europa Conference League runners-up in 2022, Feyenoord lost in the Dutch Cup semi-finals to Ajax and Europa League last eight to Roma, after extra time, but they were not to be denied in a title race they led throughout 2023.

Did you know?
Feyenoord have not progressed further in this competition since they came through the first group stage in the 1999/2000 season.

Atlético (ESP)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 15
How they qualified: Third in Spain
Last season: Group stage (fourth place)
Best European Cup performance: Runners-up (1973/74, 2013/14, 2015/16)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer last season: Reinildo 25

Coach: Diego Simeone
In more than 11 years at the helm, Simeone has coached Los Rojiblancos to two Europa League titles, two UEFA Super Cups and two Champions League finals. In 2021, he added a second Liga title to show his powers remain undiminished.

Key player: Antoine Griezmann
Set for the third season of his second spell at Atlético, French forward Griezmann is arguably at the peak of his powers. The 32-year-old scored 16 goals and created 19 assists in all competitions for his team last season, and will once again be a crucial cog in Simeone's side.

Big summer signing: César Azpilicueta
The defender has returned to Spain following 11 highly successful years at Chelsea. It could prove to be a canny move by Atlético, with Azpilicueta's winning experience and calmness under pressure likely to be a huge asset to Simeone.

One to watch: Pablo Barrios
Exciting young midfielder Barrios, who is as adept at winning possession as carrying the ball upfield, enjoyed something of a breakthrough season in 2022/23, making his senior debut in October 2022 and going on to collect a further 20 La Liga appearances.

2022/23 season
Finishing bottom of their Champions League group for the first time was certainly a shock to the system for Simeone's men, while their Copa del Rey hopes were ended in the last eight by Real Madrid in January. That defeat proved the turning point in their season, though, as they won 14 of their last 20 league games to finish a comfortable third.

Did you know?
Atlético failed to come through the group stage for only the second time in ten campaigns last season.

Lazio (ITA)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 42
How they qualified: Second in Italy
Last season: Europa Conference League round of 16
Best European Cup performance: Quarter-finals (1999/2000)

Coach: Maurizio Sarri
The 64-year-old can boast more than 30 years and 1000 games of managerial experience and his tactical expertise remains highly lauded to this day. Was finally rewarded for his career's work when winning the 2019 Europa League at Chelsea and, like the famous phrase about London buses, another came straight away as he led Juventus to the Serie A title a year later.

Key player: Mattia Zaccagni
Shone over several seasons despite Hellas Verona fritting between the top two divisions in Italy before having a huge impact at Lazio last season after his loan move became permanent. The 28-year-old midfielder struck ten times – double his best tally from any previous campaign – across 45 appearances and will be leaned upon even more this term after the departure of Sergej Milinković-Savić.

Big summer signing: Taty Castellanos
The Argentine forward made the move to the USA in 2018 to join MLS team New York City, where he won the 2021 Golden Boot after scoring 19 goals and creating eight assists. A loan spell at La Liga side Girona followed and Castellanos impressed last season, scoring 13 times in the division – including four in a game against Real Madrid – to earn a permanent transfer to Lazio.

One to watch: Nicolò Rovella
The midfielder was signed by Juventus after making his Serie A debut with Genoa in 2019, but after only three appearances he was loaned to Monza in 2022/23. He quickly became the pivot of the Lombardy outfit's midfield, amassing 25 appearances and contributing to the club's 11th-place finish. After joining Maurizio Sarri's Lazio in August, he will be expected to fill the void left by Milinković-Savić's exit.

2022/23 season
Another side that struggled to keep pace with Napoli in Serie A, Lazio's second place was their highest league finish since they won the title back in 2000. Cup competitions were not quite so profitable as they exited the Coppa Italia in the last eight and Europa Conference League, to AZ Alkmaar, in the round of 16.

Did you know?
The last time Lazio failed to score in a Champions League group stage match was in 2003 – they found the net in all 12 of their group matches across 2007/08 and 2020/21.

Celtic (SCO)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 57
How they qualified: Scottish champions
Last season: Group stage (fourth place)
Best European Cup performance: Winners (1966/67)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorers last season: Matthew O’Riley, Jota 21

Coach: Brendan Rodgers
The former Liverpool manager agreed to take charge at Celtic for the second time this summer. His first spell was a stunning success, as the Bhoys won domestic doubles in his two full seasons and also broke a 100-year-old British record when going 69 domestic games unbeaten. Also led Leicester to the FA Cup in 2021.

Key player: Kyogo Furuhashi
Not too many had heard of the former FC Gifu and Vissel Kobe striker when he joined Celtic in 2021 but the 28-year-old is a firm fans' favourite after scoring 54 goals in his first two seasons at the club. Honoured as the Scottish Premier League's Player of the Year by both players and football writers in 2022/23.

Big summer signing: Maik Nawrocki
A Bremen-born centre-back already on the fringes of the Polish senior side, Nawrocki arrived in Glasgow in July after establishing himself as a key man at Legia Warszawa. "He's a very highly rated young player," Rodgers said of the 22-year-old.

One to watch: Liel Abada
The Israel international, who featured in UEFA.com's players to look out for in 2023, won the 2021/22 Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year award in his first season following his switch from Maccabi Petah Tikva. Reached ten league goals from midfield for a second successive campaign last term.

2022/23 season
A winless group stage was harsh on a Celtic side that offered severe tests to Real Madrid, Leipzig and Shakhtar under Ange Postecoglou. Retained their domestic title in swashbuckling style, scoring 114 goals in 38 games as part of their eighth domestic treble.

Did you know?
Celtic were first British winners of the European Cup in 1967 but last made it through the group stage in 2013.

Group F

Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 6
How they qualified: French champions
Last season: Round of 16 (L0-3agg vs Bayern)
Best European Cup performance: Runners-up (2019/20)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer last season: Kylian Mbappé 65

Coach: Luis Enrique
The former Barcelona and Real Madrid player won nine trophies during a hugely successful three-year spell in charge of the Blaugrana, including two La Liga crowns and the 2015 Champions League. He led Spain to the EURO 2020 semi-finals and the 2021 Nations League final before succeeding Christophe Galtier at Paris in July.

Key player: Kylian Mbappé
Burst on to the European stage with Monaco in 2016/17 and has never looked back. A World Cup winner with France, he became the youngest player to reach 30 Champions League goals in 2021/22 at the age of 22 years 352 days, taking the record from then team-mate Lionel Messi.

Big summer signing: Ousmane Dembélé
Following six years at Barcelona Dembélé has now returned to his native France, where he will hope to recapture his very best form following his recent struggles with injury. On his day he remains one of the most exciting and dangerous wingers in the world, as he has regularly shown in the Champions League with a total of ten goals for Dortmund and Barcelona.

One to watch: Lee Kang-in
The youngest ever South Korean to debut in the Champions League (aged 18 years and six months) during his time at Valencia, Lee has been touted as the next star to emerge from his home country thanks to his dazzling dribbling ability. The switch from Mallorca to Paris will only increase the expectancy on the versatile forward.

2022/23 season
Being pipped to top spot in their group by Benfica proved a telling setback as Paris were then drawn against Bayern in the last 16, where they never got going against the German heavyweights. Their Ligue 1 campaign also had its ups and downs with the capital club eventually claiming the summit by just a single point from Lens, while their French Cup quest was ended by Marseille in the last 16.

Did you know?
Aged 16 years 343 days, Paris midfielder Warren Zaïre-Emery became the youngest ever player to start a Champions League knockout game during his team's 1-0 last-16 first-leg loss to Bayern.

Dortmund (GER)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 14
How they qualified: Second in Germany
Last season: Round of 16 (L1-2agg vs Chelsea)
Best European Cup performance: Winners (1996/97)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer last season: Jude Bellingham 52

Coach: Edin Terzić
Terzić began his coaching career in Dortmund's academy in 2010. He had a spell as interim first-team boss during the 2020/21 campaign, when he lead Borussia to victory over Leipzig in the German Cup final, before taking them within minutes of dethroning champions Bayern last season.

Key player: Julian Brandt
One of the Bundesliga's most consistent and impressive performers for many years, German international Brandt joined Dortmund after five and a half seasons at Leverkusen. Now 27, the creative midfielder has completed four years at BVB, making at least 40 appearances every season and hitting double figures for goals last term.

Big summer signing: Ramy Bensebaini
The Algerian full-back may have to fill the void created by Raphaël Guerreiro's departure for Bayern but his energy and goal threat – he scored 25 times in four seasons with Mönchengladbach – indicate Terzić has drafted in a like-for-like replacement in the 28-year-old.

One to watch: Jamie Bynoe-Gittens
The youth prospect left Man City for Dortmund in 2020 in the hunt for a first-team breakthrough and, following a long-term injury, that came last season. The Englishman, who has only recently turned 19, made 20 appearances and chipped in with three goals in 2022/23.

2022/23 season
Terzić's side seemed to be surging to the Bundesliga title and a deep run in the cup competitions before stuttering against Chelsea in the Champions League in March then Leipzig in the German Cup in April. However, they recovered their composure in the title race and racked up the goals, only missing out on another championship to Bayern in the dying embers of the final day.

Did you know?
Dortmund have lost only two of their last 16 Champions League matches in their home city (W9 D5).

Milan (ITA)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 37
How they qualified: Fourth in Italy
Last season: Semi-finals (L0-3agg vs Inter)
Best European Cup performance: Winners (1962/63, 1968/69, 1988/89, 1989/90, 1993/94, 2002/03, 2006/07)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer last season: Olivier Giroud 50

Coach: Stefano Pioli
The former defender took over in 2019 and led the Rossoneri to the Champions League after a seven-year absence in 2020/21, also flirting with the Scudetto. He steered the club to their first domestic title in eleven years in 2022 before reaching the Champions League semi-finals last season.

Key player: Rafael Leão
The Portuguese has scored over 40 goals for the seven-time European champions since arriving from Lille in 2019. He was named Serie A player of the season in 2022 after helping Milan win their first Scudetto since 2011, and was a key player last term as the Rossoneri secured a top-four finish.

Big summer signing: Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Loftus-Cheek joined Chelsea as an eight-year-old, going on to make 155 appearances for the London club. The tall, technically gifted midfielder enjoyed loan spells with Crystal Palace (2017/18) and Fulham (2020/21) before ending his 19-year association with the club in June.

One to watch: Malick Thiaw
Signed from Schalke last summer, the defender showed growing maturity in his first season with the Rossoneri, as our analysis after his Champions League debut against Tottenham showed. Ended with 20 Serie A appearances and made his first start for Germany in June.

2022/23 season
Always playing catch-up in the title race following a blistering start to the season from Napoli, the Rossoneri's European campaign saw them move through the gears with much more success. Back-to-back defeats by Chelsea proved to be the reset required and Stefano Pioli's men conceded just once in their next six games as they made it to the last four.

Did you know?
On Matchday 5, Milan's Olivier Giroud became the 62nd player to score 20 Champions League goals. At the age of 36 years 25 days, he was also the oldest to reach that total.

Newcastle (ENG)

UEFA coefficient ranking: N/A
How they qualified: Fourth in England
Last season: Not in European competition
Best European Cup performance: Second group stage (2002/03)

Coach: Eddie Howe
The Magpies were 19th in the table and five points from safety when Howe took the helm in November 2021. He guided them to a mid-table finish in 2021/22 before helping the club achieve their highest Premier League points total in 21 years in 2022/23. He also oversaw three promotions during a hugely successful eight-year spell in charge of Bournemouth.

Key player: Bruno Guimarães
A January 2021 signing from Lyon, Guimarães has quickly established himself as a fan favourite at St. James' Park. The Brazilian makes Newcastle tick in the middle of the pitch thanks to his magnificent vision, awareness and passing range. He also chipped in with five goals and five assists across all competitions in 2022/23.

Big summer signing: Sandro Tonali
A boyhood Milan fan, Tonali left the 2021/22 Serie A winners for the Magpies in July. The versatile, athletic Italy international can operate in both an advanced and a holding midfield role, and is expected to relieve the creative burden on the influential Guimarães as Newcastle embark on their first European campaign in a decade.

One to watch: Anthony Gordon
The 22-year-old winger mainly featured from the bench following his switch from Everton last season but may be set for a more significant role after being named Player of the Tournament as England won the U21 EURO in the summer.

2022/23 season
Eleventh the season before, Howe's side rarely slipped out of the top four and only lost five games out of 38 in the Premier League as they booked a return to the Champions League group stage for the first time since the 2002/03 campaign.

Did you know?
Newcastle's two previous group stage appearances came in 1997/98 and 2002/03.

Group G

Man City (ENG)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 1
How they qualified: Champions League winners
Last season: Winners (W1-0 vs Inter)
Best European Cup performance: Winners (2023)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer last season: Rúben Dias 75

Coach: Josep Guardiola
One of the most decorated coaches in the game, the 52-year-old won this competition twice with Barcelona before ending his 11-year wait for a third triumph with City last season. Scooped three league titles apiece at the helm of the Catalan club and Bayern, and made it five Premier League winners' medals with City in 2022/23.

Key player: Erling Haaland
Haaland sent records tumbling in his debut campaign in England, his 36-goal Premier League tally breaking the previous best mark shared by Alan Shearer and Andy Cole. He racked up 52 in all competitions, becoming the second player in English top-flight history – and the first in 95 years – to break the 50-goal barrier in a season.

Big summer signing: Joško Gvardiol
After consistently impressing for both Leipzig and Croatia over a number of seasons, Gvardiol made the move to the Champions League holders this summer. Equally adept at centre-back and left-back, the 21-year-old's technical ability and physicality will be a huge asset for Guardiola.

One to watch: Rico Lewis
Aged just 17 years and 346 days, Lewis became City's youngest ever Champions League scorer when he found the net against Sevilla in last season's group stage. The full-back, who can also operate in holding midfield, will be confident of playing a more prominent role this season after making eight league starts during the latter half of 2022/23.

2022/23 season
Guardiola's side were eight points adrift of Arsenal at the start of April but won every Premier League game from that point until they wrapped up the title with two games to spare. The FA Cup followed with victory against neighbours Man United before they wrote their name in history when they became the tenth side to complete a league, cup and European Cup treble with a 1-0 success over Inter in the Champions League final.

Did you know?
City became the 23rd club to win the European Cup/Champions League, and the first new name on the trophy since Chelsea in 2012. They have scored in all 36 of their home matches in the Champions League group stage.

Leipzig (GER)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 16
How they qualified: Third in Germany
Last season: Round of 16 (L1-8agg vs Man City)
Best European Cup performance: Semi-finals (2019/20)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer last season: Mohamed Simakan 47

Coach: Marco Rose
Leipzig-born Rose guided Mönchengladbach into the Champions League knockout stages in 2019/20 before being appointed Dortmund coach. He led BVB to second place in the Bundesliga in his only season in charge, before steering Leipzig to a second successive German Cup title in 2023.

Key player: Dani Olmo
The Spain international has endured a difficult time with injury in recent seasons but remains one of Leipzig's key performers thanks to his pace, trickery and pinpoint deliveries from wide positions.

Big summer signing: Loïs Openda
Replacing Arnaud Kalimuendo's goals at Lens seemed a tricky task but Openda, a fellow UEFA.com prospect from our 2022 selection, did so with ease after signing from Club Brugge. Now looking to follow in Christopher Nkunku's footsteps and, after striking 21 times in 38 league games in his only season in France, could well fill that void too.

One to watch: Benjamin Šeško
After agreeing to join Leipzig last summer, the teenage Slovenian striker will be looking to hit the ground running in the Bundesliga after scoring 16 goals in 30 Austrian top-flight appearances for Salzburg last term – ten of which came in the second half of the campaign.

2022/23 season
Looked up against it after defeats in their first two Champions League outings but won the next four to reach the last 16, where Man City blew them away in the second leg. Rose's side completed their domestic campaign in outstanding form, winning ten of their last 11 games to finish third and scooping the German Cup for a second consecutive season.

Did you know?
That winning streak in last season's group stage was the first time Leipzig had claimed victories in four consecutive matches in the competition in their history.

Crvena zvezda (SRB)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 43
How they qualified: Serbian champions
Last season: Play-offs (L4-5agg vs Maccabi Haifa), Europa League group stage
Best European Cup performance: Winners (1990/91)

Coach: Barak Bakhar
Led Maccabi Haifa to the group stage for the first time in thirteen years last season, beating the likes of Olympiacos and Crvena zvezda along the way. Scooped three league titles as coach of Hapoel Be'er Sheva and three more at Maccabi Haifa.

Key player: Aleksandar Dragović
The 32-year-old provides a wealth of experience from spells at Austria Wien, Basel, Dynamo Kyiv, Leverkusen and Leicester and has reached a century of caps for Austria. Had already won several league titles and domestic cups before adding back-to-back doubles in Belgrade.

Big summer signing: Peter Olayinka
The Nigerian was well-travelled before spending four and a half years with Slavia Praha. A star across several European campaigns with the Czech side, the 27-year-old arrives in Serbia off the back of his most productive season for goals yet after notching 17 in all competitions last season.

One to watch: Stefan Mitrović
Joined from Radnički Niš last summer and has only recently turned 21. The fleet-footed attacking midfielder scored in Champions League qualifying, the Europa League group stage and for Serbia's U21 side last season and made his debut for the senior national team in September.

2022/23 season
Caught cold in qualifying by Maccabi Haifa, Crvena zvezda failed to get going in the Europa League too as they missed out to Ferencváros and Monaco in their group. By contrast, their domestic performance was near flawless as they completed a third consecutive double – they have lost just one league game across those last three seasons.

Did you know?
Though the Serbian side have not made it to the group stage in the last three seasons they have not lost a home game in the competition since 2019, going unbeaten in their five home qualifiers since then.

Young Boys (SUI)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 51
How they qualified: Swiss champions, play-off winners (W3-0agg vs Maccabi Haifa)
Last season: Europa Conference League play-offs
Best European Cup performance: Semi-finals (1958/59)

Coach: Raphaël Wicky
Won the domestic double at Sion, the German Cup with Werder Bremen and 75 caps for Switzerland as a player. Coached at Basel and in the United States before joining YB at the start of last season, leading the club to the league and cup double at the first attempt.

Key player: Cédric Itten
The 26-year-old started off with hometown club Basel but really came to prominence in the 2019/20 season, when he struck 19 league goals for St Gallen. Matched that tally last season, adding a further four in the Swiss Cup, in his first at YB following his transfer from Rangers.

Big summer signing: Darian Males
Played more than 100 games across several loan spells with Basel but moved to YB from Inter on a long-term deal. A vastly experienced Swiss U21 international, Males impressed in back-to-back Europa Conference League campaigns with Basel.

One to watch: Kastriot Imeri
Capped by Switzerland, the 23-year-old attacking midfielder spent several seasons with Servette before his move to YB broke the transfer record between two clubs in the Swiss Super League.

2022/23 season
All about the number 16! YB won their 16th Swiss title, finishing 16 points clear of the pack and scoring 16 goals more than any other team. They also beat Lugano to complete the double, well and truly banishing the memory of an agonising defeat on penalties to Anderlecht in the Europa Conference League play-offs.

Did you know?
YB have finished fourth in their section in both their previous group stage campaigns.

Group H

Barcelona (ESP)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 9
How they qualified: Spanish champions
Last season: Group stage, Europa League round of 32
Best European Cup performance: Winners (1991/92, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2010/11, 2014/15)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer last season: Robert Lewandowski 34

Coach: Xavi Hernández
One of Barcelona's most decorated players, Xavi has transformed the Blaugrana following his appointment as Ronald Koeman's successor. After guiding the club from ninth to second in La Liga in his first season, he led them to the league title last term.

Key player: Pedri
Still only 20 at the start of the group stage, Pedri has become a key cog in the Barça and Spain machines over the past three seasons since joining from Las Palmas. Blessed with a grace on the ball that has earned comparisons with coach Xavi's former team-mate Andrés Iniesta, the youngster has the passing ability and eye for goal to match.

Big summer signing: İlkay Gündoğan
Fresh off winning the treble with Manchester City, Gündoğan is clearly relishing the prospect of a new challenge at Camp Nou. His vision, intelligence and goalscoring threat should enhance Barcelona's midfield, and Xavi will no doubt be delighted to work with a player not dissimilar to himself at his peak.

One to watch: Alejandro Balde
Still aged just 19, left-back Balde boasts a maturity that belies his young age and has already established himself as a regular in the Barcelona starting XI, also appearing in each of Spain's four World Cup finals games last year.

2022/23 season
The Blaugrana failed to get out of the group stage for a second successive Champions League season but had more success on the domestic front. Xavi's men overcame Real Madrid to win the Spanish Super Cup and, though they suffered more European disappointment when knocked out of the Europa League by Manchester United, eased to a first La Liga title for four years.

Did you know?
Barcelona had made it through the group stage every year from 2001/02 until these past two seasons.

Porto (POR)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 20
How they qualified: Second in Portugal
Last season: Round of 16 (L0-1agg vs Inter)
Best European Cup performance: Winners (1986/87, 2003/04)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer last season: Diogo Costa 58

Coach: Sérgio Conceição
The architect of Porto's return to the pinnacle of Portuguese football, Conceição's six seasons in charge have brought three league titles, three Portuguese Cups, a League Cup and three Super Cups. He was already a fan favourite, having won three titles with the club as a versatile midfielder.

Key player: Pepê
A skilful Brazilian winger who can play either side, up front and is even an option as a right full-back, 26-year-old Pepê is in his third season at Porto. His importance in Conceição's side undeniably grew last term, with 55 appearances, five goals and ten assists – and plenty of headaches for his opponents.

Big summer signing: Nico González
The cultured midfielder is a product of Barcelona's famed La Masia academy, and was a key member of the first-team in the 2021/22 campaign, making 27 La Liga appearances. González spent last season on loan at Valencia where he impressed with his technical ability and intelligence on the ball, leading to a permanent switch to Porto.

One to watch: Gonçalo Borges
A product of the Porto youth ranks who also spent a few years at rivals Benfica's academy, the 22-year-old winger made his debut for the Dragons' senior team last season and will prove to be a valuable asset for Conceição this season with his pace and technique.

2022/23 season
Edged out in the Portuguese title race by Benfica despite winning 27 of their 34 games. Porto, like Leipzig, also recovered from losing their first two Champions League group games to win the next four and reach the last 16, and the narrow defeat by Inter was the only blot on a remarkable campaign of cup football as the Dragons lifted both the Portuguese Cup and League Cup trophies.

Did you know?
Porto are embarking on their 26th Champions League group stage campaign (the same number as Bayern). Only Barcelona and Real Madrid (27) have appeared in more.

Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 25
How they qualified: Ukrainian champions
Last season: Group stage, Europa League round of 16
Best European Cup performance: Quarter-finals (2010/11)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer last season: Oleksandr Zubkov 23

Coach: Patrick van Leeuwen
The Dutchman returned to Shakhtar during the summer, replacing Igor Jovićević. Having ended his injury-plagued playing career at 27, Van Leeuwen started out with Feyenoord's youth teams before a similar role during a seven-year stint in Donetsk. His first senior role came in 2020/21 with Maccabi Tel-Aviv, where he won the Israeli State Cup. He spent last term at Zorya Luhansk.

Key player: Mykola Matviyenko
A defender described as "the future of Shakhtar and Ukraine" by Darijo Srna when he signed a new long-term deal in March. Able to play on the left, Matviyenko is strongest in the middle where he can make full use of his poise and passing range.

Big summer signing: Irakli Azarovi
The versatile left-back has already enjoyed plenty of success in his career, winning the Georgian Erovnuli Liga twice with Dinamo Tbilisi and once with Dinamo Batumi, while he also won the Serbian league with Crvena zvezda. With 12 caps under his belt for the Georgian national team too, Azarovi looks a shrewd acquisition.

One to watch: Georgiy Sudakov
Another off the Shakhtar production line and our 2023 list of prospects, Sudakov is an advanced playmaker with great vision, creativity and a tidy burst of pace. He made his first-team debut at 18 in Shakhtar's famous 3-2 win at Real Madrid and within seven months he was a full Ukraine international. He was joint-top scorer at this summer's U21 EURO too.

2022/23 season
Drew with Real Madrid and beat Leipzig in the group stage but missed out on qualification to that pair before their Europa League campaign was ended by a flying Feyenoord side. Closest championship rivals Dnipro-1 were the only team to beat them in the Ukrainian league before they wrapped up the title in May.

Did you know?
Shakhtar have reached the group stage for the 18th time but not gone further in 13 of the previous 17 campaigns, including the last five.

Antwerp (BEL)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 96
How they qualified: Belgian champions, play-off winners (W3-1agg vs AEK Athens)
Last season: Europa Conference League play-offs
Best European Cup performance: Round of 16 (1957/58)

Coach: Mark van Bommel
A 2006 Champions League winner with Barcelona, the Dutchman won league titles in the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Italy. He has established his own philosophy as a coach and led Antwerp to their first championship title since 1957. He sticks to his 4-3-3, is close to his players and has moulded his team into a tight group.

Key player: Toby Alderweireld
Born in Antwerp, the two-time Champions League finalist (with Atlético in 2014 and Tottenham in 2019) returned to his home town last season and scored the dramatic title-winning goal in their final match. With his leadership, measured long passing, duelling power and presence, the 127-cap international sets a captain's example.

Big summer signing: Jacob Ondrejka
The versatile winger earned his stripes in his native Sweden. Just turned 21, but 21 goals and more than 100 games for Elfsborg did not go unnoticed by Antwerp. The summer signing will mainly operate out wide and is tipped to become a crowd favourite.

One to watch: Arthur Vermeeren
Vermeeren is predicted to have a great future in Belgium. Barely 18, he grew into a permanent fixture in the team last season. A product of the RAFC Academy, he is stable on the ball, agile and, despite his young age, already an important distributor in midfield.

2022/23: Van Bommel's first season at the helm proved to be ground-breaking, despite İstanbul Başakşehir ending their European adventure. Antwerp won the title on the final day thanks to a 94th-minute equaliser from Toby Alderweireld at Genk – it was the club's first league championship in 66 years and completed their maiden double after they beat Mechelen in the cup final.

Did you know?
Antwerp is the oldest Belgian football club, founded in 1880. They played the final of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1993 – the last club final to feature a Belgian team. This will be their first ever Champions League group-stage campaign.

Group stage fixtures

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