Arsenal Champions League draw: Group opponents, schedule, fixtures as Gunners make UCL return
Arsenal fans are looking forward to their return to the Champions League in the 2023/24 season with Mikel Arteta’s team on an upward curve in the last 12 months.
Despite the frustration of losing out to defending champions Manchester City in the Premier League title race, Arteta’s charges sealed second place, and a reunion with the Champions League for the first time since 2017.
Arteta has invested heavily in the transfer market, to bolster his squad for the demands of Champions League football, and the group stages will provide a crucial acid test for his developing squad.
The Sporting News looks at Arsenal’s group stage opponents as they look to make up for lost time on the biggest stage in European domestic football.
Who is in Arsenal’s Champions League group?
The 2023/24 Champions League group stage draw did not throw up too many nasty surprises for Arteta with the major Premier League talking point centring on Newcastle’s tough return.
The Magpies fourth place Premier League finish ensured their return to the competition, for the first time in two decades, and Eddie Howe’s team have been placed in Group F with Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan.
Manchester City received a relatively favourable draw in Group G but Manchester United will be up against Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in Group A.
Arsenal landed in Group B, up against Europa League holders Sevilla, Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven and Dutch runners up PSV Eindhoven and Ligue 1 team Lens.
Jose Luis Mendilibar’s side secured a place in the Champions League despite finishing outside the La Liga top four last season.
However, a seventh UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa Conference League title win in the final weeks of 2022/23, ensured a spot in this season’s Champions League, as a Pot 1 team.
The Spanish giants are the top seeds in Group B, with Arsenal’s Champions League exile placing them as a Pot 2 team.
Arsenal will be eyeing Sevilla as their direct opponent for top spot in the group despite the Spanish team boasting a wealth of Europa League experience.
Their only previous meetings came in the 2007/08 Champions League group stages with a home win each as former Gunners star Eduardo scored home and away.
PSV Eindhoven caused problems for Arsenal as the two sides battled it out in the Europa League group stages last season.
Granit Xhaka’s late goal sealed a 1-0 home win for Arteta, but a 2-0 defeat in Eindhoven almost toppled Arsenal’s push for top spot in the group.
Arteta’s charges eventually edged out their Dutch opponents in the race for first place, but he will be wary of their threat, particularly with the Eredivisie side retaining key man Ibrahim Sangare over the summer.
Arsenal have only won once away from home against PSV, in four trips, with just one victory in their last five meetings overall.
Arsenal will be looking to secure maximum points against French side Lens with a unbeaten record of four games against the Ligue 1 team in European competition.
Lens caused a shock in French football last season, finishing second behind Paris Saint-Germain in the title race, but they lack experience on the big stage, and Arteta will need to show ruthlessness against them if Arsenal want to progress.
0 – Among all 32 sides to qualify for this season’s UEFA Champions League, Lens are the only team without a player who has previously made an appearance in the competition. Rookies. #UCLdraw pic.twitter.com/3B5HFfTTSO
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) August 31, 2023
Arsenal’s Champions League record
Arsenal enjoyed incredible consistency as a Champions League qualifier during the Arsene Wenger era with an amazing 19 successive Champions League seasons under the Frenchman from 1998 to 2017.
Wenger’s final season in north London saw the club drop into the Europa League, with his replacement Unai Emery taking charge of two campaigns in lower competition, followed by two for Arteta.
Wenger’s Arsenal lost out to Manchester United in the 2009 Champions League semifinals, their strongest recent performance in the tournament, following on from a final defeat to Barcelona in 2006.
|Season||UCL stage reached||Knocked out by||Top UCL scorer|
|1998/99||Group Stage||Dynamo Kyiv/Lens||Eight players with one goal|
|1999/2000||Group Stage||Barcelona/Fiorentina||Marc Overmars – 3|
|2000/01||Quarterfinals||Valencia||Thierry Henry – 4|
|2001/02||Second Group Stage||Bayer Leverkusen/Deportivo La Coruna||Thierry Henry – 7|
|2002/03||Second Group Stage||Valencia/Ajax||Thierry Henry – 7|
|2003/04||Quarterfinals||Chelsea||Thierry Henry – 5|
|2004/05||Round of 16||Bayern Munich||Thierry Henry – 5|
|2005/06||Final||Barcelona||Thierry Henry – 5|
|2006/07||Round of 16||PSV Eindhoven||Cesc Fabregas/Robin van Persie – 2|
|2007/08||Quarterfinals||Liverpool||Cesc Fabregas – 6|
|2008/09||Semifinals||Manchester United||Emmanuel Adebayor – 6|
|2009/10||Quarterfinals||Barcelona||Niklas Bendtner – 5|
|2010/11||Round of 16||Barcelona||Robin van Persie – 5|
|2011/12||Round of 16||AC Milan||Robin van Persie – 5|
|2012/13||Round of 16||Bayern Munich||Lukas Podolski – 4|
|2013/14||Round of 16||Bayern Munich||Aaron Ramsey – 5|
|2014/15||Round of 16||AS Monaco||Alexis Sanchez – 4|
|2015/16||Round of 16||Barcelona||Olivier Giroud – 5|
|2016/17||Round of 16||Bayern Munich||Mesut Ozil/Theo Walcott – 4|
Champions League group stage schedule 2023/24
Below is the schedule for each of the six matchdays in the group stage.
|1||Sept. 19-20, 2023|
|2||Oct. 3-4, 2023|
|3||Oct. 24-25, 2023|
|4||Nov. 7-8, 2023|
|5||Nov. 28-29, 2023|
|6||Dec. 12-13, 2023|
Knockout stage schedule
The draw for the 2022/23 Champions League Round of 16 will take place on December 18, 2023.
The draw for the remaining rounds (quarter-finals and semi-finals) of the 2023/24 Champions League knockout stage will take place on March 15, 2024.
|Round||1st Leg||2nd Leg|
|Round of 16||Feb. 13-21, 2024||Mar. 5-13, 2024|
|Quarterfinals||Apr. 9-10, 2024||Apr. 16-17, 2024|
|Semifinals||Apr 30-May 1, 2024||May 7-8, 2024|
|Final||June 1, 2024|
How to watch Champions League around the world
|Hong Kong||beIN Sports||beIN Sports Connect|
|India||Sony TEN||JioTV, Sony LIV|
|Malaysia||beIN Sports||beIN Sports Connect, sooka|
|New Zealand||—||Spark Sport|
|Singapore||beIN Sports||beIN Sports Connect, StarHub TV+|
|UK||TNT Sports||TNT Sports site/app, discovery+|
ViX or ViX+
UK: Matches are broadcast on TNT Sports and streamed on TNT Sports site and app platforms, including discovery+.
Canada: Every Champions League game streams live on DAZN.
Australia: Every match from the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League streams on Stan Sport ad-free, live and on demand.