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What are the best (and worst) possible draws for Bayern Munich in the 2023 Champions League group stage?

This group stage could end up being a nail-biter for Bayern Munich.

The FC Bayern Munich Club Badge and UEFA Champions League Match Ball Photo by Visionhaus

The UEFA Champions League group stage draw is a fascinating event. 24 teams from across Europe gather their representatives at a single venue, with the vast majority of them praying for one thing. In the group stage, no one wants to face Bayern Munich. This is a team that has not lost a UCL group game since 2017, an unbeaten streak that is so long there are some Bayern fans who have never seen their team lose in the group stage.

This year, with the return of some old names and a few new faces on the block, the Champions League promises a scintillating group stage that is set to be the last in this traditional format, before changes take effect from 2024-25.

So, who will Bayern Munich get?

How it works

The teams are grouped into 4 pots, with Pot 1 reserved for the reigning UCL title holders, the champions of the top 6 leagues, and the reigning Europa League holders. Pots 2 to 4 will consist of the rest, grouped according to UEFA coefficients.

Each group will consist of one team from each pot — teams from the same country cannot be drawn against each other. Here’s what the pots look like right now:

Pot 1: Manchester City, Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona, Napoli, Paris Saint-Germain, Feyenoord, Benfica, Sevilla

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

Pot 3: Shakhtar Donetsk, Red Bull Salzburg, AC Milan, Lazio, Red Star Belgrade, Braga, PSV Eindhoven, Copenhagen

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

Easiest draw

Looking at the pots so far, the easiest draw for Bayern Munich would probably be some combination of the following:

Pot 2: Porto
Pot 3: Shakhtar Donetsk
Pot 4: Galatasaray

Teams like Antwerp, Copenhagen, or Rangers could knock Galatasaray out of that Pot 4 slot — realistically though, it doesn’t change much. Bayern Munich would be expected to waltz out of a group like this, with the rest of the teams knowing from the start that they’re fighting for 2nd place.

It’s too bad that FC Barcelona won the league last year, it would’ve been nice to continue the annual tradition of a double FCB header in the groups.

FC Barcelona v FC Bayern München: Group C - UEFA Champions League
Lewandowski is not amused.
Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Hardest draw

Of course the above isn’t really what the Champions League is about. So, here is what could be one of the toughest possible draws for Bayern Munich, which obviously promises a ton of excitement but also brings with it the pressure to deliver.

Here is what the hardest possible draw could be:

Pot 2: Real Madrid
Pot 3: AC Milan
Pot 4: Newcastle United

That’s a bona-fide group of death. Still, Bayern Munich would be one of the favorites to advance, but Thomas Tuchel would not be able to afford any slip ups. Each and every single matchday would be packed with incredible clashes and sky-high drama.

However, it’s the kind of draw that is liable to make fans nervous, since the current team has plenty of weaknesses and the chances of missing out on the Ro16 become very real when all the games are must-wins.

A balance

Let’s put the high drama aside for a second and think about the the narrative. A group that is relatively balanced, with a few key favorites but also plenty of room for surprises — that seems like the best for fans and neutrals alike.

So, with that in mind, here’s what a balanced group could look like:

Pot 2: Arsenal or Manchester United
Pot 3: RB Salzburg
Pot 4: Celtic

Now while Bayern would still be heavy favorites, this would be a great group to watch from game to game. The opponents are close enough to each other in level to have some thrilling games, but this would still be a group where Bayern Munich should win most games and qualify from.

Who do you want Bayern to face in the CL group this year? Comment below! Oh and vote on the poll.


What kind of group should Bayern Munich get?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Gimme the worst! (Madrid, Milan, Newcastle)
    (99 votes)
  • 46%
    Gimme a challenge! (Arsenal, United, etc.)
    (135 votes)
  • 19%
    I like to sleep through CL games (Porto, Shakhtar, Galatasaray, etc.)
    (57 votes)
291 votes total Vote Now

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