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Celtic to face Real Madrid, RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk in Champions League group stage

Celtic to face Real Madrid, RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk in Champions League group stage

Sottish Premiership champions Celtic have been drawn to face holders Real Madrid, RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League group stage.

The Hoops have returned to Europe’s most prestigious club competition for the first time since the 2017-18 campaign after they were crowned Scottish Premiership champions last season.

Fourteen-time European Cup winners Real Madrid are notably Celtic’s toughest test in Group F – Los Blancos came out on top in last season’s final against Liverpool, while Carlo Ancelotti‘s men also secured the La Liga title.

Celtic and Real Madrid’s only previous meeting was back in the 1979-80 European Cup quarter-finals, which saw the Spanish side edge through 3-2 on aggregate.

Ange Postecoglou‘s side will also test themselves against German outfit and DFB-Pokal holders RB Leipzig, who were eliminated in the group stage last season before losing in the Europa League semi-finals to Rangers.

For the third time this century, Celtic will take on Shakhtar in the Champions League group stage, having previously done so in 2004-05 and 2007-08. The Hoops lost both away encounters against the Ukrainian champions but managed to beat them on both occasions at Parkhead.

Elsewhere, Glaswegian rivals Rangers have been drawn into a challenging group along with Ajax, Liverpool and Napoli, while Premier League champions Manchester City will come up against Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund and Copenhagen in Group G.

Chelsea have been drawn in Group E along with AC Milan, Red Bull Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb in Group E, while Tottenham Hotspur will face Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt, Sporting Lisbon and Marseille.

Celtic managed to avoid the group of death, which will see Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Inter Milan all lock horns in Group C along with minnows Viktoria Plzen.
The first group stage fixtures for this year’s competition are scheduled to take place on September 6/7.

2022-23 Champions League group-stage draw in full:

Group A: Ajax, Liverpool, Napoli, Rangers
Group B: Porto, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Club Brugge
Group C: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Viktoria Plzen
Group D: Eintracht Frankfurt, Tottenham Hotspur, Sporting Lisbon, Marseille
Group E: AC Milan, Chelsea, Red Bull Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb
Group F: Real Madrid, RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk, Celtic
Group G: Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, Copenhagen
Group H: Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Benfica, Maccabi Haifa

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