Barcelona will face FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and Royal Antwerp in Group H of the 2023/24 Champions League after the group stage draw was made on Thursday evening in Monaco. Barça have finally avoided a Group of Death and have a real chance to top the group and advance to the knockout stage for the first time under Xavi Hernández.
But this doesn’t mean it will necessarily be an easy group. FC Porto are a very good defensive team and have eliminated big clubs in the Champions League knockouts in recent seasons, and former Barça midfielder Nico González will return to Catalonia just a couple of months after being sold to the Portuguese side.
Shakhtar Donetsk are a fixture of Champions League play and are always a very tough opponent, especially in Ukraine and with the extreme circumstances the country is living under that make football an escape and a chance to dream for the nation’s biggest club.
Royal Antwerp are making their Champions League group stage debut, and have made history thanks to a heroic victory over favorites AEK in Athens in the group stage playoff.
This really is the best-case scenario every Barça fan would have dreamed of. They have avoided every single European giant in Pot 2 and got the most favorable draws in Pots 3 and 4, and there really is no excuse for not winning the group comfortably and clinching a spot in the Round of 16 with a game or two to spare.
Here is the full group stage draw:
Group A: Bayern Munich, Manchester United, FC Copenhagen, Galatasaray
Group B: Sevilla, Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven, RC Lens
Group C: Napoli, Real Madrid, SC Braga, Union Berlin
Group D: Benfica, Inter Milan, RB Salzburg, Real Sociedad
Group E: Feyenoord, Atlético Madrid, Lazio, Celtic
Group F: Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, Newcastle United
Group G: Manchester City, RB Leipzig, Red Star Belgrade, Young Boys
Group H: Barcelona, FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Royal Antwerp
What do you think of our draw, Barça fans? And which of the other groups are you most looking forward to? Comment below!