On Thursday, Barcelona found out who they will be playing in the group stages of this season’s Champions League. The Catalans will were drawn against FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and Royal Antwerp.
On paper, it is a somewhat favourable draw for Barcelona, especially when you consider Group F has Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan and Newcastle United. Still, it won’t be straightforward for the reigning LaLiga champions.
Head coach Xavi Hernandez is fully aware of the challenges that will be posed by Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and Antwerp, although as he stated during his pre-match press conference before Sunday’s match against Osasuna, he fully believes his side will finish top of the group, which would secure comfortable passage to the knockout stage of the competition.
🚨 Xavi: “The Champions League draw? We’ll see, the group is at Champions League level, we aim to finish first, but we know it will be difficult.”
— barcacentre (@barcacentre) September 2, 2023
Realistically, Barcelona should be progressing out of their group with considerable ease. First place should be attained, although they will be aware of possible complacency, which could be an issue.