Champions League 2022/23 sides ranked from 'No hope' to 'Winners'

Karim Benzema with the Champions League trophy

The 2022/23 Champions League group stage draw has been made.

Real Madrid won the competition last season and have been put in group F alongside RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk and Rangers.

Paris Saint-Germain have been placed in a tough group alongisde Juventus, Benfica and Maccabi Haifa.

While Group C is undoubtedly the ‘group of death’. It features Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Viktoria Plzen.

You can view the whole group stage draw by following this link.

So, how do we think the competition will play out?

We’ve ranked every club into tiers based on their chances of winning the competition.

The tiers range from ‘No hope’ to ‘Winners’. View how we think this season’s competition will go below…

No hope

Maccabi Haifa (Isreal)

Club Brugge (Belgium)

Celtic (Scotland)

Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia)

FC Copenhagen (Denmark)

Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine)

Viktoria Plzen (Czech Republic)

Rangers (Scotland)

No disrespect to these sides, but their chances of winning this season’s competition are non-existent.

Spare a thought for Viktoria Plzen, who will be lucky to even grab a point.

Still, the right sides in this category have done very well to make the group stages and will be looking to be competitive in their respective groups.

For many, finishing third in their group and qualifying for the knockout stages of the Europa League will be the aim.

Rangers qualified for the Champions League after beating PSV
EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS – AUGUST 24: Front row from L-R John Lundstram, James Tavernier, Glen Kamara, Thomas Lawrence and Ryan Kent of Glasgow Rangers , Last row from L-R Malik Tillmann, Borna Barisic, Antonio Colak, Connor Goldson, Jon McLaughlin and James Sands of Glasgow Rangers pose for a teamphoto prior t the UEFA Champions League Play-Off Second Leg match between PSV and Glasgow Rangers at Phillips Stadium on August 24, 2022 in Eindhoven, Netherlands. (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images)

Would do well to get out of the group

Inter Milan (Italy)

Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany)

Marseille (France)

Bayer Leverkusen (Geermany)

Sevilla (Spain)

Benfica (Portugal)

Ajax (Netherlands)

Red Bull Salzburg (Austria)

Inter have been placed in the group of death alongside Bayern and a Barca side on the up once again under Xavi. While they have the quality, they need to be at their best to emerge from the group.

if they do finish in the top two, though, they could well go far in the competition.

The rest of the sides in the category have the potential to emerge from their group but the odds are against them.

Romelu Lukaku and Lauteero Martinez in action for Inter Milan
MILAN, ITALY – AUGUST 20: Lautaro Martinez of FC Internazionale celebrates scoring their side’s first goal with his team-mate Romelu Lukaku during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and Spezia Calcio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on August 20, 2022 in Milan, . (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Into the knockouts, but not much further

FC Porto (Portugal)

Atletico Madrid (Spain)

Juventus (Italy)

Chelsea (England)

Napoli (Italy)

Borussia Dortmund (Germany)

Red Bull Leipzig (Germany)

Sporting Lisbon (Portugal)

We are backing these eight sides to emerge from the group stages, but to struggle when it gets to the knockout rounds.

Atletico and Juventus aren’t the sides they used to be. It’s hard to envisage them winning the competition.

Chelsea have started the season off slowly and we think the lack of a real goal-scorer will prevent them from going far.

Dortmund failed to make the knockouts last season but we think they’ll have just enough to make it this campaign. It’s hard to see them going deep in the competition, though.

Chelsea FC before a Champions League match
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 14: The Chelsea team line up for a photograph prior to kick off during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Chelsea FC and Zenit St. Petersburg at Stamford Bridge on September 14, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Dark horses

Tottenham Hotspur (England)

AC Milan (Italy)

Spurs have made great strides at Tottenham and will be a very difficult side to beat. They are solid in defence and have a star-studded attack featuring Dejan Kulusevski, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane.

AC Milan won Serie A last season and have a very strong side. Few are expecting them to win the competition but they could go far.

AC Milan
MILAN, ITALY – AUGUST 13: AC Milan team line up before the Serie A match between AC MIlan and Udinese Calcio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on August 13, 2022 in Milan, . (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Got a real chance

Liverpool (England)

Bayern Munich (Germany)

Manchester City (England)

Real Madrid (Spain)

Barcelona (Spain)

These five teams have a great chance of winning the competition.

Real Madrid may have lost Casemiro this summer but they have ample cover. Aurélien Tchouaméni has arrived at the club in a £72m move from Monaco, while Eduardo Camavinga is ready to play an even bigger role. With Karim Benzema up front, anything is possible.

Man City have improved from last season and now have a bonafide goalscorer in Erling Haaland.

Liverpool have not started the season well but remain a force in the Champions League, while Bayern will be there or thereabouts despite losing Robert Lewandowski in the summer.

Speaking of Lewandowski, the Pole is more than capable of firing Barcelona to Champions League glory once again.

Winners

Paris Saint-Germain (France)

We are backing PSG to get over their Champions League hoodoo and win this season’s competition.

The French giants have started the Ligue 1 season on fire under Christophe Galtier.

Lionel Messi and Neymar look back to their old selves and Kylian Mbappe continues to show why he’s regarded as one of the best players in world football.

PSG will take some stopping. They have the talent, but can they hold it all together? We’ll see.

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