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UEFA Champions League

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

11:06 GMT+3 22/08/2017
Real Madrid celebrating Champions League
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.

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.


Event Date Venue
Champions League group stage draw Thursday, August 24 Grimaldi Forum, Monaco

The draw for the 2017-18 Champions League group stage takes place at 18:00 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.


Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot TBC
Real Madrid Barcelona Basel Tottenham (2 or 3)
Bayern Munich Atletico Madrid Anderlecht Feyenoord (3 or 4)
Chelsea Paris Saint-Germain Roma RB Leipzig (4)
Juventus Borussia Dortmund Besiktas  
Benfica Manchester City    
Monaco Porto    
Spartak Moscow Manchester United    
Shakhtar Donetsk      

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.

When does the group stage kick-off?

The first games of the 2017-18 Champions League group stage take place on September 12 and 13, and the final matches will be played on December 5 and 6.

All games tend to kick-off at 20:45 with occasional exceptions depending on geography.


League Route:

Team Agg. Team Leg 1 Leg 2
Napoli - Nice 2-0 Aug 23
Hoffenheim - Liverpool 1-2 Aug 23
Sporting - Steaua Bucuresti 0-0 Aug 23
Istanbul Basaksehir - Sevilla 1-2 Aug 22
Young Boys - CSKA Moscow 0-1 Aug 22

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 - Copenhagen 1-0 Aug 23
APOEL - Slavia Prague 2-0 Aug 23
Olympiacos - Rijeka 2-1 Aug 22
Celtic - Astana 5-0 Aug 22
Hapoel Be'er Sheva - Maribor 2-1 Aug 22

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.


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

In Nigeria, viewers can watch live from 18:00 on SuperSport 3 or you can go to UEFA's website which will also be providing live coverage of their event through an online stream at