The UEFA Champions League draw for the 2020/21 season takes place today.
It was just six short weeks ago that Bayern Munich defeated Paris Saint-Germain in Lisbon to claim their sixth European Cup, but they will begin their defence next month alongside 31 other clubs with dreams of reaching the final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul next May.
When is the Champions League draw?
The 2020/21 UEFA Champions League group stage draw takes place today at 15:00 GMT at the RTS studios in Geneva.
The Champions League group stage draw has been moved from Athens and will now be a behind-closed-doors event at UEFA’s headquarters in Switzerland.
European football’s governing body confirmed the news on Tuesday, saying to stage the event in the Greek capital would “violate public health restrictions and constraints regarding indoor events” in the country.
How does it work?
There are four teams in each group, one from each ‘pot’, which theoretically stops the strongest teams from knocking one another out too early.
The top pot, Pot 1, includes last season’s Champions League winners Bayern Munich and Europa League winners Sevilla, as well as Liverpool and the rest of the domestic champions from the top-six performing leagues across Europe.
No team can play a club from their own association, with the exact draw procedure to be confirmed before the ceremony.
Who is involved in the draw?
ESP (4): Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla
ENG (4): Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea
ITA (4): Juventus, Inter, Atalanta, Lazio
GER (4): Bayern, Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Borussia Monchengladbach
FRA (3): Paris Saint-Germain, Marseille, Rennes
RUS (3): Zenit Saint Petersburg, Lokomotiv Moscow, FC Krasnodar
POR (1): Porto
BEL (1): Club Brugge
UKR (1): Shakhtar Donetsk
TUR (1): Istanbul Basaksehir
NED (1): Ajax
GRE (1): Olympiakos
UKR (1): Dynamo Kiev
HUN (1): Ferencvaros
AUS (1): RB Salzburg
DEN (1): FC Midtjylland
What are the pots?
Pot 1: Bayern Munich, Sevilla, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Porto.
Pot 2: Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Ajax.
Pot 3: Dynamo Kiev, RB Salzburg, RB Leipzig, Inter Milan, Lazio, Atalanta, FC Krasnodar, Olympiacos.
Pot 4: Borussia Monchengladbach, Istanbul Basaksehir, Rennes, Ferencvaros, FC Midtjylland, Club Brugge, O. Marseille, Lokomotiv Moscow.
The following award winners will be announced during the draw ceremony:
UEFA Men’s Player of the Year
UEFA Women’s Player of the Year
UEFA Men’s Coach of the Year
UEFA Women’s Coach of the Year
Goalkeeper of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League season
Defender of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League season
Midfielder of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League season
Forward of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League season
Goalkeeper of the 2019/20 UEFA Women’s Champions League season
Defender of the 2019/20 UEFA Women’s Champions League season
Midfielder of the 2019/20 UEFA Women’s Champions League season
Forward of the 2019/20 UEFA Women’s Champions League season
When does the football start?
The group stages get underway in the week of October 19, with six rounds of group games running through to mid-December.
Matchday 1: October 20/21
Matchday 2: October 27/28
Matchday 3: November 3/4
Matchday 4: November 24/25
Matchday 5: December 1/2
Matchday 6: December 8/9
Whoever is lucky enough to go all the way will go head to head at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul – where Liverpool beat AC Milan back in 2005 – on May 29.
By: Kwabena Asante Marfo, KobbyKyeiSports