The Champions League group-stage draw takes place on Thursday, with Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea set to discover their first opponents in the 2021/22 competition.
When is the draw?The 2021/22 UEFA Champions League group stage draw will take place from 5pm (BST) on Thursday August 26. The draw ceremony is being held in Istanbul, Turkey.
European dates for 2021/22All football fixturesWhich teams are in the draw?
Image: Lionel Messi will turn out for PSG in this season’s Champions League Twenty-six teams qualified automatically for the Champions League group stage via their 2020/21 league position, while six further teams will book their places after Wednesday’s play-offs.
The Premier League has four representatives at the group stage.
England: Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, ChelseaSpain: Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, VillarrealItaly: Inter Milan, AC Milan, Atalanta, JuventusGermany: Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund, WolfsburgFrance: Lille, Paris Saint-GermainPortugal: Sporting, Porto, BenficaNetherlands: AjaxRussia: Zenit St PetersburgAustria: SalzburgBelgium: Club BruggeUkraine: Dynamo Kiev, Shakhtar DonetskTurkey: BesiktasSwitzerland: Young BoysSweden: MalmoMoldova: Sheriff TiraspolHow does the draw work?
Image: Liverpool will not be able to face Manchester United or any of their other Premier League rivals at this stage The 32 teams will be split into four seeding pots for Thursday’s draw.
Pot 1 will consist of the holders, Chelsea, Europa League winners, Villarreal, and the champions of the six highest-ranked nations who did not qualify via one of the 2020/21 continental titles. Pots 2 to 4 will be determined by club coefficient rankings.
No team can play a side from their own league at this stage, meaning there will be no all-English ties until the knockout phase. UEFA will confirm any other restrictions ahead of the draw ceremony.
The pots – and who Premier League sides could faceHolders Chelsea and Premier League champions Manchester City will be drawn from Pot 1, while Manchester United and Liverpool will be drawn from Pot 2.
Chelsea and City, last season’s finalists, could be drawn against the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus or Paris Saint-Germain in the group stage, while United and Liverpool could draw Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich or Inter Milan, the respective reigning Spanish, German and Italian champions.
Image: The draw for the group stages of the Champions League will take place on Thursday at 5pm, UK time Pot 1: Chelsea, Villarreal, Atletico Madrid, Man City, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Lille, Sporting.
Pot 2: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Man Utd, PSG, Liverpool, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund.
Pot 3: Porto, Ajax, RB Leipzig, Benfica, Atalanta, Zenit, Shakhtar Donetsk, Salzburg.
Pot 4: Besiktas, Dynamo Kyiv, Club Brugge, Young Boys, AC Milan, Malmo, Wolfsburg, Sherrif Tiraspol.
When are the group stage games?The full fixture list for the group stage will be revealed after the draw but UEFA has confirmed the matchday dates.
Matchday 1: September 14/15
Matchday 2: September 28/29
Matchday 3: 19/20 October
Matchday 4: 2/3 November
Matchday 5: 23/24 November
Matchday 6: 7/8 December
All the key Champions League datesRound of 16: February 15/16/22/23 & March 8/9/15/16 2022
Quarter-finals: April 5/6 & 12/13 2022
Semi-finals: April 26/27 & 3/4 2022
Final: May 28 2022 (St Petersburg, Russia)