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UEFA Champions League Mid-Season Update

Courtesy of UEFA
The UCL (UEFA Champions League) is one of the top levels of competition in soccer. Around 400 million people tune in to watch, ranking it as the fourth most watched soccer league in the world.

The UCL (UEFA Champions League) is a soccer league in which some of the best teams from the top-divisions in Europe compete for one of the most prestigious trophies in soccer. The league has eight groups, each consisting of four teams. The teams first compete within their groups in a round-robin with two legs, which means they play each team twice. The top two teams of each group move on to a double-legged knockout round, with a single leg final on June 1, 2023. 

Of each group, the third place team qualifies and moves on to the UEFA Europa League, which is a second-tier league under UEFA’s Champions League. The winner of the Europa League gets to qualify for the Champions League in the following year.

Similarly to other leagues, a win means three points, a tie means one point, and a loss means no points. The goals of the two legs are added together to determine who won out of both teams. For example, if PSG beats AC Milan 3-1 in the first leg, but loses 2-1 in the second leg, PSG still moves on because the overall score is 4-3 in favor of PSG. 

Groups A,B,C, and D will play their sixth and last group match on Tuesday, December 12, while groups E, F, G, and H will play on Wednesday, December 13. 

Starting off with Group A, Bayern Munich is leading the group with 13 points, ahead of the other teams by a wide margin of 8 points. Copenhagen and Galastaray tied for second at 5 points, and Manchester United trail behind by 4 points. Bayern, the clear winner of this group, will play Manchester United for the last match while Copenhagen and Galastaray will face each other as well. If the other two teams tie and Manchester United can somehow pull off a win, they will be able to advance to the knockout stage.

“I would say Bayern Munich [will be a finalist] because the starting team plays really well and the manager knows how to command them to the direction of winning,” sophomore Alex Vargas said.

In Group B, Arsenal leads with 12 points, with Philips Sport Vereniging (PSV) following behind by 8 points. Lens in third with 5 points, and Sevilla in fourth with 2 points. Arsenal and PSV will play each other in the last group match while Lens and Sevilla will play each other as well. With a goal differential of -6 points, Lens may have a chance to advance to the knockout stage over PSV, who have a goal differential of -2 points. That would mean that Arsenal would have to beat PSV by more than 3 goals and Lens has to win the match by 3 goals for Lens to advance. 

In Group C, Real Madrid is in first with 15 points, while Napoli is in second with 7 points. Braga behind them with 4 points, and Union Berlin at last with 2 points. Real Madrid, who currently has 14 UCL titles, will play Union Berlin while Braga will play Napoli. Braga has a slim chance to advance to the knockout stage with a goal differential of -4 and Napoli with a goal differential of -1. If Braga scores 2 goals and doesn’t concede, they may be able to advance.

“[I believe] Real Madrid could be a finalist because their playstyle and attack is very good this year,” sophomore Jacob Ferreira said. 

In Group D, we have Real Sociedad and Inter both with 11 points, Salzburg in third with 4 points, and Benfica at last with 1 point. Since Real Sociedad has a goal differential of 5, and Inter has a goal differential of 3, Sociedad would be the first place team. Although, with Salzburg and Benfica playing each other, there may not be a possibility of Salzburg being able to advance to the knockout stage.

In Group E, we have Atlético Madrid in first with 11 points, closely followed by Lazio with 10 points. Feyenoord in third with 6 points, and Celtic trailing behind with 1 point. Similarly to the last group, the first and second place teams will play each other, leaving Feyenoord and Celtic without a chance to advance to the next round.

For Group F, Dortmund leads with 10 points, with PSG behind with 7 points. Newcastle and AC Milan both with 5 points. Since Newcastle has a goal differential of 0 and Milan with -4, Newcastle would be the third place team, qualifying for the Europa League along with all the other third place teams.

In Group G, we have the most recent Champions League winners Manchester City in first with 15 points, followed by Leipzig with 9 points. Young Boys in third with 4 points, and Crvena zvezda in fourth with 1 point. Manchester City and Crvena facing off in the last group match, Leipzig and Young Boys as well. If Crvena can somehow win their match by 1 goal, and Young Boys loses theirs by 1 goal, they would be able to still qualify for the Europa League.  

Ferreria also states, “Manchester City is the reigning champion, so I would say both them and Real Madrid [could be finalists].” 

Ending it off with Group H, we have Barcelona in first with 12 points. FC Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk both with 9 points, and Antwerp lingering behind with 0 points. Barcelona will be playing Antwerp while FC Porto and Shakhtar will duke it out to see who will advance to the next stage. With Shakhtar with a goal differential of 0, and FC Porto having a goal differential of 5, the latter has a much higher chance of advancing to the knockout stage.

With that, this year’s Champions League is littered with brilliant, highly talented individuals. This year alone, there were 247 goals scored, earning a high ratio of 3.09 goals per match. Man City, Arsenal, and Atlético Madrid are currently all tied with 15 goals scored overall.


All quoted statistics were researched from UEFA’s official website.

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About the Contributor
Carlos Sanchez
Carlos is a junior at Metea and this is his first year on staff as a sports reporter. He enjoys playing soccer and listening to music, specifically jazz or R&B songs. He is also pretty good at thrifting.

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    AbhiJan 10, 2024 at 9:11 am

    We love Champions League!