Everything you need to know about Champions League draw


Real Madrid

Real Madrid have won three Champions League finals in a row

Four English clubs will find out their Champions League group stage opponents when the draw takes place on Thursday.

Manchester City will be in pot one, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in pot two, while last season’s runners-up Liverpool are in pot three.

The draw takes place at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco at 17:00 BST.

Holders Real Madrid are in pot one with fellow Spaniards Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, as well as Bayern Munich, Juventus, PSG and Lokomotiv Moscow.

How does it work?

The Champions League and Europa League winners make it into pot one, alongside the champions in each of the six highest-ranked nations.

It means there are three Spanish sides among the top seeds this season because Real won a third successive Champions League, Atletico Madrid were crowned Europa League winners and Barcelona clinched the La Liga title.

The rest of the pots are decided by club coefficients – a ranking determined by how well a club has done in Europe over the past five years, and also how their association has performed.

Liverpool were hoping for Benfica to be knocked out by Greek club PAOK to move into pot two for the draw, but the Portuguese side emerged victorious 5-2 on aggregate.

One club from each pot will be drawn to make up eight groups of four teams. Clubs from the same nation cannot be drawn together at this stage.

Pot one: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus, Paris St-Germain, Lokomotiv Moscow.

Pot two: Borussia Dortmund, Porto, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli, Tottenham Hotspur, Roma, Benfica.

Pot three: Liverpool, Schalke, Lyon, Monaco, Ajax, CSKA Moscow, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia.

Pot four: Red Star Belgrade, Viktoria Plzen, Club Brugge, Galatasaray, Inter Milan, Hoffenheim, Young Boys, AEK Athens.

When does the football start?

The first Champions League group stage games take place on 18 and 19 September, with clubs playing the last of their six matches on 11 or 12 December.

The knockout rounds begin in February, with the tournament concluding with the final at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano on 1 June, 2019.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/45307017

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