Here are all the interesting things you need to know about UEFA Champions League group stage draw.
The start of the Champions League 2021-22 is just around the corner and this Thursday, at 5pm in England, the group stage draw for the new edition of the tournament will take place in Istanbul.
32 clubs from across Europe will make up the groups for the new Champions League 2021-22. We already know 26 participants and six teams are yet to seal their ticket to the game’s top continental competition.
Who have qualified for the group stage?
Six qualifiers remain to be decided: on Tuesday at 21.00, PSV-Benfica, Ludogorets-Malmö, Ferencvárosi-Young Boys and on Wednesday at the same time, Shakhtar Donetsk-Monaco, Brondby IF-Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb-Sheriff.
The 26 teams whose participation is assured are:
ESP: Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Villarreal.
ENG: Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea.
GER: Bayern, Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund, Wolfsburg.
ITA: Inter Milan, AC Milan, Atalanta, Juventus.
FRA: LOSC Lille, Paris Saint-Germain.
POR: Sporting CP, Porto.
BEL: Club Brugge.
UKR: Dynamo Kyiv.
Date, time and where to watch the draw for the Champions League 2021-22
The streaming of the draw for the group stage of the Champions League 2021-22 can be followed through the official website of UEFA and through the live broadcast that we will tell you from BeSoccer. The event will take place this Thursday, at 18.00 CET (17.00 BST), in the city of Istanbul (Turkey)..
How does the draw work?
For the group stage draw, the teams will be split into four seeding pots. Pot 1 contains the UEFA Champions League winners, the UEFA Europa League winners and the champions of the six highest-ranked nations (Spain, England, Germany, Italy, France and Portugal). The other pots are drawn according to UEFA’s club coefficient rankings.
How are the groups defined?
Apart from Pot 1, the remaining teams are ordered according to their UEFA club coefficients in the 2020-21 season and will not be able to play other clubs from the same country. As 2021 Champions League winners Chelsea had already qualified via the Premier League, Besiktas enter the group stage as champions of the 11th national federation (Turkey).
If Premier League runners-up Manchester United won the Europa League final, Monaco would have entered the group stage as third-placed team from the fifth federation (France); instead, Villarreal’s victory meant Spain had five representatives, the maximum number a federation can have.
Pot 1: Chelsea, Villarreal, Manchester City, Atlético, Bayern, Inter, Lille, Sporting Portugal.
Pot 2: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Juventus, PSG, Liverpool, Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund.
Pot 3: Ajax, RB Leipzig, Atalanta, Porto and Zenit.
Possible Pot 3: Besiktas, Dynamo Kiev, Brugge…
Pot 4: Milan and Wolfsburg.
The Champions League 2021-22 schedule
Pending the completion of the final qualifying matches, from which the six remaining teams in the group stage will be drawn, here is the Champions League 2021-22 schedule:
14/15 September 2021: Matchday 1
28/29 September 2021: Matchday 2
19/20 October 2021: Matchday 3
2/3 November 2021: Matchday 4
23/24 November 2021: Matchday 5
7/8 December 2021: Matchday 6
15/16/22/23 February and 8/9/15/16 March 2022: Round of 16
5/6 and 12/13 April 2022: quarter-finals
26/27 and 3/4 May 2022: semi-finals
28 May 2022: Final
8 June 2021: Preliminary round
15 June 2021: first qualifying round
16 June 2021: Second qualifying round
19 July 2021: third qualifying round
2 August: Play-off round
26 August: Group stage (Istanbul, Turkey)
13 December: Round of 16
18 March: Quarter-finals and semi-finals
Where will the final be played?
The final will take place at the Saint Petersburg Stadium. Located on Krestovsky Island, the stadium was designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, whose vision was that of a spaceship that had landed on the shores of the Gulf of Finland. It has been the home of Russian Zenit since 2017.