UEFA Champions League group stage draw: Live stream, how to watch, pots and more

The UEFA Champions League 32-team group stage field is now set for the 2021-22 season, and all the 32 teams have to be placed into eight groups during Thursday’s draw in Turkey. 

Ahead of the draw, here’s everything you need to know:

Twenty-six teams already qualified for the group stage thanks to their success from a season ago. Six additional teams have booked their spots this week in the UCL play-offs. Here they are, including the Champions League winners Chelsea and Europa League winners Villarreal, with three spots up for grabs Wednesday.

  • England: Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool
  • Spain: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal and Sevilla
  • Germany: Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg
  • Italy: Inter Milan, AC Milan, Juventus and Atalanta
  • Portugal: Sporting Lisbon, Benfica and Porto
  • France: PSG and Lille
  • Netherlands: Ajax
  • Turkey: Besiktas
  • Russia: Zenit
  • Ukraine: Dynamo Kyiv, Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Belgium: Club Brugge
  • Switzerland: Young Boys
  • Sweden: Malmo
  • Austria: RB Salzburg
  • Moldova: Sheriff

What rules are there for the draw?

There will be four seeding pots, with the first one consisting of the six highest-ranked league champions and the winners of UCL and EL. Pots 2 to 4 will be determined via the club coefficient rankings. 

When forming the groups, no team can play another from its own association in the group stage, meaning two teams from England, for example, cannot be in the same group. There are often other restrictions, such as teams from Ukraine and Russia not being grouped together due to the longstanding political and military tensions stemming from the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula. 

Premier League champions Manchester City begin their 2021/22 season under way at Tottenham Hotspur when the new season kicks off on the weekend of August 14.

With their Champions League playoff victories on Wednesday night, Shakhtar DonetskRB Salzburg and Sheriff Tiraspol became the final teams to qualify for the 2021/22 Champions League group stages. Now, the draw will take place on Thursday.

Here, we have all the details you need to know about the 2021/22 Champions League group stage draw, from the start time to how to watch it on TV and online.

Which 32 teams are in the group stage draw?

We have 32 exciting teams in this year’s Champions League and they’ll be split across eight groups of four, based on seedings and with no two teams from the same country allowed to meet at this stage.

The four pots for the draw are as follows:

  • Pot 1: Chelsea, Villarreal, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Inter, Lille and Sporting CP
  • Pot 2. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool, Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund
  • Pot 3: Porto, Ajax, Shakhtar Donetsk, RB Leipzig, RB Salzburg, Benfica, Atalanta and Zenit Saint Petersburg
  • Pot 4: Besiktas, Dynamo Kyiv, Club Brugge, Young Boys, AC Milan, Malmo, Wolfsburg and Sheriff Tiraspol

Have matchdays been decided for the group stage?

  • Matchday 1: Sept. 14-15
  • Matchday 2: Sept. 28-29
  • Matchday 3: Oct. 19-20
  • Matchday 4: Nov. 2-3
  • Matchday 5: Nov. 23-24
  • Matchday 6: Dec. 7-8

.FIFA has confirmed the initial schedule for the 2022 winter World Cup in Qatar.