When is the Champions League group stage draw: Everything you need to know

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Goal brings you all you need to know about the draw, including the date, time, venue and the teams that are taking part

Europe's elite collide in September when the Champions League group stage returns and 32 teams commence their journey towards continental supremacy.

Real Madrid made history last season by becoming the first team to win back-to-back Champions League titles and Zinedine Zidane's men have their eye on a hat-trick.

PSG to win CL in next 3 years

However, Los Blancos will not have an easy run at glory, with the likes of Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona set to challenge, while Chelsea and Manchester United have returned to the stage after a brief hiatus.

With clubs and supporters eagerly anticipating the new campaign, Goal brings you all you need to know about the Champions League group stage draw.


WHEN AND WHERE IS THE DRAW?


General view Grimaldi Forum Monaco 2011

Event Date Venue
Champions League group stage draw Friday August 25 Grimaldi Forum, Monaco

The draw for the 2017-18 Champions League group stage takes place at 02:00 AEST (18:00 CEST/17:00 BST / 12:00 ET) on Thursday, August 24. Unlike the draws for previous rounds, which were held in Nyon, Switzerland, the group stage draw will be held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

As well as deciding the make-up of the groups, the occasion will also see the presentation of a number of awards, including the UEFA Men's Player of the Year and Women's Player of the Year. The best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and forward from last season's competition will also have their performances recognised at the ceremony.

UEFA Youth League

The youth teams of the 32 Champions League group stage participants also take part in the UEFA Youth League. However, unlike the Champions League, the Youth League features a total of 64 teams, with the youth domestic champions of the top 32 leagues also entering. Red Bull Salzburg won the 2016-17 Youth League, defeating Benfica in the final.


WHAT TEAMS ARE IN THE DRAW?


Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot TBC
Real Madrid Barcelona Napoli Celtic
Bayern Munich Atletico Madrid Tottenham Feyenoord
Chelsea Paris Saint-Germain Basel Maribor
Juventus Borussia Dortmund Olympiacos RB Leipzig
Benfica Sevilla Anderlecht CSKA Moscow
Monaco Manchester City Roma Sporting CP
Spartak Moscow Porto Besiktas APOEL
Shakhtar Donetsk Manchester United Liverpool Qarabag FK

The group stage of the Champions League comprises 32 teams, with 22 teams automatically entering before being joined by the 10 winners of the play-off round. Teams are subsequently divided into four pots of eight, with each group containing one team from each pot. The reigning champions, as well as the winners of the Europa League, automatically qualify for the group stage.

Pot One contains the holders and the league winners of the top seven associations, based on UEFA country coefficient. Since Real Madrid won the Champions League and La Liga last season in 2016-17, the champions of the eighth best association in 2016 take their place in Pot One. On this occasion, it is Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine.

Pots Two, Three and Four are then populated by the remaining 24 teams and their seeding is dependent on their UEFA club coefficient.

Neymar PSG Toulouse Ligue 1 20082017

When does the group stage kick-off?

The first games of the 2017-18 Champions League group stage take place on September 13 and 14, and the final matches will be played on December 6 and 7.

All games tend to kick-off at 04:45 AEST (20:45 CEST/CET -19:45 BST/GMT) with occasional exceptions depending on geography.


WHAT TEAMS ARE IN THE PLAY-OFF ROUND?


Liverpool celebrate vs Watford

League Route:

Team Agg. Team Leg 1 Leg 2
Napoli 4-0 Nice 2-0 0-2
Hoffenheim 3-6 Liverpool 1-2 4-2
Sporting 5-1 Steaua Bucuresti 0-0 1-5
Istanbul Basaksehir 3-4 Sevilla 1-2 2-2
Young Boys 0-3 CSKA Moscow 0-1 2-0

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are among the teams hoping to book their place in the group stage via the 'League Route' and they must overcome Bundesliga side Hoffenheim in order to do so. Napoli need to defeat Ligue 1 upstarts Nice, while Sevilla take on Istanbul Basaksehir. Russian giants CSKA Moscow face Young Boys.

Champions Route:

Team Agg. Team Leg 1 Leg 2
Qarabag 2-2 Copenhagen 1-0 1-2
APOEL 2-0 Slavia Prague 2-0 0-0
Olympiacos 3-1 Rijeka 2-1 0-1
Celtic 8-4 Astana 5-0 3-4
Hapoel Be'er Sheva 2-2 Maribor 2-1 0-1

Of the 10 teams involved in the 'Champions Route', Scottish champions and one-time European Cup winners Celtic are the most recognisable, with Greek giants Olympiacos and Cypriot outfit APOEL also vying for a place in the group stage. Qarabag, Copenhagen, Slavia Prague, Rijeka, Astana, Hapoel Be'er Sheva and Maribor are the other teams competing.

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CAN I WATCH THE GROUP STAGE DRAW?


Giorgio Marchetti Ian Rush Champions League draw 2016-17

Yes, the draw will be available to watch on a number of platforms, including television and via online stream.

In South Africa, viewers can watch live from 18:00 CET on SuperSport or follow it LIVE on Goal.com

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