European Football’s top competition resumes next month, as 32 teams will go at it to try and snatch the famous trophy away from current Champions Real Madrid, who beat Liverpool 1-0 in last season’s final.
With a World Cup in the middle of the season, the format and fixtures have changed slightly, but don’t worry, 101 have got you covered.
When is the draw?
The Champions League group stage draw will take place on Thursday, 25th August from 5pm UK time (6PM CET, 9am PT). It will comprise of 32 teams being drawn into 8 groups of 4.
The 32 sides will be split into 4 pots of 8 teams, with pot 1 consisting of the highest ranked sides and pot 4 the lowest. Each group will contain one team from each pot.
Domestic sides cannot be drawn in the same group (e.g. Chelsea and Manchester City).
When will the games be played?
Because of the World Cup, the timeframe in which the games will be played has been narrowed, so all six matches will take place in the space of 8 weeks rather than the usual 12.
Matchday 1: 6/7 September
Matchday 2: 13/14 September
Matchday 3: 4/5 October
Matchday 4: 11/12 October
Matchday 5: 25/26 October
Matchday 6: 1/2 November
The round of 16 draws will take place on 7th November.
Who is in which pot?
So far, the confirmed teams are:
Pot 1: Real Madrid, Eintracht Frankfurt, Man City, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, PSG, Porto, Ajax
Pot 2: Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, RB Leipzig, Tottenham
Pot 3: Borussia Dortmund, Red Bull Salzburg, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan, Napoli, Sporting CP, Bayer Leverkusen
Pot 4: Club Brugge, Celtic
French side Marseille will be in pot 3 or pot 4 depending on other results.
The other six sides will be decided by play-offs, the second legs of which are taking place on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th August.
Those still to be decided are (Current score after one leg):
Bodo Glimt or Dinamo Zagreb (1-0)
Rangers/PSV Eindhoven (2-2)
Maccabi Haifa/Red Star Belgrade (3-2)
Dynamo Kyiv/Benfica (0-2)
Should Benfica hold onto their advantage and knock out Dynamo Kyiv, they would take the final spot in pot 3, with the other sides and Marseille dropping into pot 4.
Group of death?
Manchester City are the only English side in pot 1, which theoretically hands them an advantage, yet due to three English teams being in pot 2, they will have to face one of Barcelona, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla or RB Leipzig (who they played last season) in the group stages.
Beyond that, it depends on potential domestic blocks, but in the worst case scenario they could face a group consisting of Barcelona, Inter Milan and Marseille.
On the flip side, Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool will avoid Manchester City but will have to play one of Real Madrid, Eintracht Frankfurt,, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, PSG, Porto, or Ajax.
Once more, it will depend on who they draw as to who they could face from pot 3, but they could end up in groups consisting of Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Rangers.