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From Group Stages to Wembley: City’s European Roadmap

The drama of floodlit nights, the sweet symphony of anthems ringing in stadiums, and Europe’s finest locking horns – yes, the Champions League is back. As the competition returns, all eyes turn towards Manchester City, the reigning European kings, ready to kick off their title defence.

Setting the Stage for European Dominance

Last season, the Etihad witnessed euphoria as City clinched the coveted trophy with a narrow 1-0 victory over Inter Milan. This year, Pep Guardiola’s squad stands with fellow Premier League sides Arsenal, Manchester United, and a nostalgic Newcastle returning to Europe’s elite after two decades. Scotland too gets a shout with Celtic marking their consecutive appearance in the group stages.

Journey through the Groups

The Long Road Ahead for Newcastle

Newcastle’s comeback hasn’t been met with the kindest of group draws. Nestled in Group F, they face formidable opponents like PSG, AC Milan, and past champions Borussia Dortmund.

Man City: A Walk in the Park?

Champions Man City find themselves with a seemingly smoother path. Sharing Group G with RB Leipzig, Red Star Belgrade, and Young Boys, City will be quietly confident of securing a knockout berth.

Underdogs and Giants

Celtic’s route appears less thorny on paper, squaring off against Feyenoord, Atletico Madrid, and Lazio. Manchester United’s focus, meanwhile, will be firmly on the looming threat of Bayern Munich, despite sharing the group with the relatively less daunting FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray.

Arsenal’s journey isn’t without hurdles either, facing Sevilla, PSV Eindhoven, and Lens.

The Missing Maestros

Football’s romance often lies in its celebrated heroes. Yet, this season, we miss the once-constants Ronaldo and Messi. The former dazzles in Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr, while Messi’s magic now graces Inter Miami in the US. Neymar and Benzema too have headed to the Middle East.

Yet, stars like PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and City’s prolific Erling Haaland promise fireworks. And keep an eye out for young sensation Lamine Yamal – Barcelona’s freshest talent and Spain’s youngest goal-scorer.

Dates for the Diary

From the initial group matches in September to the electrifying final on 1st June, the Champions League promises months of nail-biting action:

  • Group Stages: 19th September – 13th December
  • Last 16: February – March 2024
  • Quarters: April 2024
  • Semis: April – May 2024

Finale at the Home of Football

Football’s coming home – at least for the final. Wembley awaits the two best European sides on 1st June, ready to etch another chapter in its rich history.

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