Europe's elite club competition, the Champions League will grace our screens soon, with the Group stage draw set for Thursday, 29th August, at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
How teams are selected
The winners of six of the major leagues in Europe get automatic qualification into the group stage, with the rest picked based on slots offered by UEFA.
The 26 teams given direct entry to the group stage under the competition system introduced in 2018/19 are joined by the six winners of the play-off ties.
UEF uses a coefficient system to decide how many teams from each country gain entry into the group stages, and this determines also how they will be seeded.
No team can play a club from their own league, and, based on decisions taken by the UEFA Executive Committee, clubs from Russia and Ukraine must not be drawn in the same group.
Who is in which pot?
- Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Zenit St Petersburg, Paris Saint-Germain.
- Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Shakhtar, Tottenham, Benfica.
- Bayer Leverkusen, RB Salzburg, Valencia, Inter, Dinamo Zagreb, Olympiakos.
- Pot 3 or 4: Lokomotiv Moskow, Genk.
- Galatasaray, RB Leipzig, Atalanta, Lille, Red Star Belgrade.
There are three teams still yet to qualify for the group stages, with their matches set for Wednesday night. They are;
- Ajax vs APOEL (0-0 on aggregate)
- Slavia Prague vs Cluj (Slavia lead 1-0 on aggregate)
- Club Brugge vs LASK (Brugge lead 1-0 on aggregate)
The group stage matches will commence on the week of September 16, with the games expected to run to December before the competition moves to the next stage.
The final match will be played at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, where Liverpool famously beat AC Milan in 2005.
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