UCL draw balls

 

UEFA Champions League football is back and the group stage draw is scheduled to take place tomorrow Thursday, 29th August at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

As always, there will be 32 teams to be drawn into eight groups of four, with the restriction that teams from the same association or country cannot be drawn against each other and, based on decisions taken by the UEFA Executive Committee, clubs from Russia and Ukraine must not be drawn in the same group.

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In each group, teams play against each other home-and-away in a round-robin format. The group winners and runners-up advance to the round of 16, while the third-placed teams enter the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League round of 32.

English clubs; Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool all go straight in at the group phase courtesy of finishing in the top four last season.

Apart from the UCL draw, UEFA will also be using the ceremony to announce the 2017/18 UEFA Best Player in Europe.

Cristiano Ronaldo is up against Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk for the top award.

UEFA will also award the Goalkeeper of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season, Defender of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season, Midfielder of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season and Forward of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season.

The video assistant referee (VAR) system will be used in the competition from the play-off round onwards.

Liverpool are the defending champions.

Pot 1: Liverpool (holders), Chelsea (UEFA Europa League winners), Barcelona, Manchester City, Juventus, Bayern München, PSG, Zenit.

Pot 2 (unconfirmed yet): Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Shakhtar Donetsk, Tottenham, Ajax, Benfica.

Pot 3 (unconfirmed yet): Lyon, Bayer Leverkusen, Salzburg, Olympiacos, Club Brugge, Valencia, Inter Milan, Dinamo Zagreb

Pot 4 (unconfirmed yet): Lokomotiv Moscow, Genk, Galatasaray, RB Leipzig, Slavia Prague, Red Star Belgrade, Atalanta, Lille

Season calendar

17/18 September: group stage, matchday one

1/2 October: group stage, matchday two

22/23 October: group stage, matchday three

5/6 November: group stage, matchday four

26/27 November: group stage, matchday five

10/11 December: group stage, matchday six

16 December: round of 16 draw

18/19/25/26 February: round of 16, first leg

10/11/17/18 March: round of 16, second leg

20 March: quarter-final & semi-final draw

7/8 April: quarter-finals, first leg

14/15 April: quarter-finals, second leg

28/29 April: semi-finals, first leg

5/6 May: semi-finals, second leg

Saturday 30 May: final – Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadı, Istanbul