Following the conclusion of the Champions League group stage draw, UCL football will again take centre stage as Europe’s elite domestic cup competition.
Holders Chelsea will look to defend the Champions League crown when they and the rest of Europe’s big hitters enter this season’s competition at the group stage.
Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United will join Chelsea as England’s representatives in the 2021/22 Champions League competition.
They will be joined by PSG, boosted by the signing of Lionel Messi, and the usual suspects from across the Spanish, German and Italian domestic leagues.
Here’s all you need to know about the Champions League group stage draw.
When was the Champions League draw?
For the 2021/22 Champions League competition, the group stage draw took place at 5pm (BST) on Thursday 26 August.
The draw was held in Istanbul, Turkey, a day after the conclusion of the second and final legs of the play off process to determine the last six entrants into the group stage.
How does the Champions League group stage draw work?
All 32 teams will be split into four seeded pots.
The eight teams in the first pot will consist of the current Champions League holders, the Europa League winners and the champions of the six highest ranked national leagues.
The other three pots will be determined by the club coefficient rankings, which takes into consideration each team’s performance over European competitions in the last five years.
No team can play a side from their own association.
What are the Champions League 2021/22 groups?
- Group A - Man City, PSG, RB Leipzig, Club Brugge
- Group B - Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Porto, AC Milan
- Group C - Sporting Lisbon, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Besiktas
- Group D - Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sheriff Tiraspol
- Group E - Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Benfica, Dynamo Kyiv
- Group F - Villarreal, Man Utd, Atalanta, Young Boys
- Group G - Lille, Sevilla, Salzburg, Wolfsburg
- Group H - Chelsea, Juventus, Zenit, Malmo
When are the Champions League group stage games?
Following the draw, each group of four teams will see home and away fixtures played from September 2021 to December 2021 before the knockout rounds begin.
The first group stage matchday will take place across 14-15 September, with further matches scheduled for 28-29 September, 19-20 October, 2-3 November, 23-24 November and 7-8 December.
The top two teams in each group will advance to the Round of 16.
Third placed sides in each group transfer to the Europa League knockout stage, where they will face Europa League group runners up for places in the last 16.
How can I watch the Champions League?
Champions League group stage fixtures will be shown live on BT Sport.