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The Champions League draw - Football: Verdict

Liverpool and Rangers are set to square off in the group stage of the Champions League, while Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan have all been drawn together.

There's plenty of British interest in the group stage with four English clubs and two Scottish teams after the Gers came through a tense play-off tie with PSV Eindhoven to join Celtic, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham in the pot.

This season's group phase is set to conclude earlier than usual in order to accommodate for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

There will only be three weeks between the opening fixtures on 6th September and the final round of fixtures on 2nd November without action in Europe's elite competition.

The knockout stages are set to start later than usual, with the last-16 ties playing out over a month from 14th February through to 15th March, while the quarter-finals and semi-finals are lined up for April and May respectively.

The 2022/23 final will be hosted in Turkey at Istanbul's Ataturk Olympic Stadium on 10th June 2023.

What:UEFA Champions League 2022/23
Where:Various, final at Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul, Turkey
When:Tuesday 6th September 2022 to Saturday 10th June 2023
How to watch:BT Sport
Odds:Man City 5/2, PSG 5/1, Liverpool 11/2, Bayern Munich 13/2, Real Madrid 9/1

English trio handed favourable draws

Manchester City, despite their incredible spending power, have never lifted the Champions League trophy, but Pep Guardiola will likely be satisfied with the draw.

The Premier League champions will feature in Group G alongside Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund and FC Copenhagen.

City, available at 5/2 to win the Champions League, have reached at least the quarter-finals in each season since 2017/18, losing in the final in 2020/21, and should be confident of getting to the knockout phase once again.

Erling Haaland, who is 7/2 to be the competition's top goalscorer, will undoubtedly be relishing the chance to face side Dortmund.

Last season's Europa League winners, Eintracht Frankfurt, making their debut in the group stage, appear to be the weakest in pot one and Tottenham will be delighted to have drawn alongside them, avoiding the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain.

Spurs, who are back in the Champions League for the first time since 2019/20 after finishing fourth in the Premier League last term, will also battle it out with Sporting Lisbon and Marseille.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are likely to face their toughest test from AC Milan in Group E, but they should have far too much experience to see off RB Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb.

Battle of Britain in Group A

Liverpool face arguably the toughest task in trying to advance beyond the group stage and there are two tantalising ties ahead against Scottish outfit Rangers.

The Gers are back in the Champions League for the first time since 2010/11 and they will be relishing the chance to take on a side south of the border in the shape of the Reds.

Eredivisie champions Ajax and Serie A outfit Napoli complete Group A in what looks to be one of the more difficult sections to predict.

Liverpool are priced at 11/2 to win the competition for the seventh time and they can be backed at 2/5 to top the section, while Rangers are 12/1 to finish at the summit of Group A.

Celtic set to face defending champions

Real Madrid, priced at 9/1 to win the competition, have a history littered with Champions League trophies, having won the competition for a record 14th time last season.

They will be taking on Scottish champions Celtic this term in Group F, with RB Leipzig of Germany and Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine also vying for progression.

It's the Bhoys' first group stage appearance since 2017/18 when they finished third behind PSG and Bayern.

They will feel more positive about their chances of advancing this time around, especially after Scottish Premiership rivals Rangers defeated RB Leipzig in last season's Europa League.

Celtic can be backed at 1/1 to qualify for the last-16 and are priced at 14/1 to finish top of the Group F standings.

Lewandowski to face former employers

There are always plenty of major storylines in the Champions League and they don't come much bigger than star players lining up against a former club.

All eyes will be on the Nou Camp and the Allianz Arena when Barcelona and Bayern Munich meet in Group C, with Robert Lewandowski, priced at 9/1 to claim the golden boot, having swapped the German giants for the Blaugrana this summer.

Progression for the two European heavyweights is far from certain, however, with Inter Milan also in the section and looking to further establish themselves back at the top table - although each of those three clubs will be confident of overcoming Viktoria Plzen.

Elsewhere, PSG and Juventus will renew their rivalry in Group H alongside Benfica and Maccabi Haifa.

In Group B, Atletico Madrid will hope to avoid any major slip-ups when they face Bayer Leverkusen, FC Porto and Club Brugge.

Group A: Ajax, Liverpool, Napoli, Rangers

Group B: FC Porto, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Club Brugge

Group C: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Viktoria Plzen

Group D: Eintracht Frankfurt, Tottenham, Sporting Lisbon, Marseille

Group E: AC Milan, Chelsea, RB Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb

Group F: Real Madrid, RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk, Celtic

Group G: Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, FC Copenhagen

Group H: Paris St-Germain, Juventus, Benfica, Maccabi Haifa

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