Today’s the day that four English clubs will find out their fate for this season Champions League Group Stage: we can hear the anthem playing already!
The draw takes place this afternoon at 17:00 BST at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool are the four English teams that have made it to this year’s Champions League and fans across the country will be tuning in to find out who they will have to get past to make it to the knock-out stages.
How Does The Draw Work?
The winners of last season Champions League and Europa League are placed in pot one along with the champions of each of the six highest-ranking nations.
With Real Madrid lifting a third Champions League, Atletico Madrid winning the Europa League and Barcelona taking the La Liga title, all three Spanish sides find themselves in amongst the top seeds in pot one.
Pots two, three and four are all decided by club coefficients – a ranking determined by how well each club has performed in Europe over the past five years as well as how their association has performed.
Even after making the final of last season’s Champions League, Liverpool find themselves in pot three after Benfica managed to beat Greek club PAOK with a 5-2 aggregate: losing would have bumped The Reds into pot three and away from a potential horror group.
Manchester City were knocked out by Liverpool in the Quarter Finals, suffering to a 5-1 aggregate loss over two legs. But, after clinching the Premier League title they remain firmly in pot one, avoiding a match up against the other big teams.
One club from each pot will be drawn to make eight groups of four teams. No clubs from the same nation can be drawn against each other in the group stages, so teams will have to make it to the knockout stages if we are to see another Premier League match-up similar to last years City V Liverpool Quarter Final.
Pot One: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus, Paris St-Germain, Lokomotiv Moscow.
Pot Two: Borussia Dortmund, Porto, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli, Tottenham Hotspur, Roma, Benfica.
Pot Three: Liverpool, Schalke, Lyon, Monaco, Ajax, CSKA Moscow, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia.
Pot Four: Red Star Belgrade, Viktoria Plzen, Club Brugge, Galatasaray, Inter Milan, Hoffenheim, Young Boys, AEK Athens.
Champions League Kick-Off
The first Champions League group games take place on the 18 and 19 September, with clubs playing the last of their six matches on 11 or 12 December. Then fans will have to wait until February for the knockout rounds to start up again before concluding with the final at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano on 1 June, 2019.