Champions League draw LIVE: Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Man City learn opponents

The group stage draw for the 2021/22 Uefa Champions League takes place today, the start of another journey toward the biggest prize in club football.

Last year it was two Premier League teams who contested the final, Chelsea emerging as triumphant with a 1-0 win over Manchester City in Lisbon. This year, the road to European silverware leads clubs to the Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, with the final set to be contested on 28 May, 2022.

Liverpool and Manchester United have been paired by Uefa, meaning they cannot play group stage matches on the same evenings, and the same is true of Man City and Chelsea. Among the top seeds are Ligue 1 winners Lille and Europa League champions Villarreal; while perhaps the most notable club in this summer transfer window anywhere on the continent, Paris Saint-Germain, are in Pot 2 – though it remains to be seen if Kylian Mbappe plays for them in this year’s competition or transfers to Real Madrid, who are similarly in that second group.

The six games will take place across a two-and-a-half-month period, with the knock-outs starting into the new year as usual.

  • Matchday 1: 14/15 September
  • Matchday 2: 28/29 September
  • Matchday 3: 19/20 October
  • Matchday 4: 2/3 November
  • Matchday 5: 23/24 November
  • Matchday 6: 7/8 December


Champions League draw: The details

The draw for this year’s competition takes place on Thursday at 5pm in Istanbul. European football governing body Uefa will stream the draw live on their website.

In the UK, BT Sport will also air the draw live on BT Sport 1 HD and the broadcaster’s site.

As well as the group stage draw for this season’s competition a number of awards from the 2020/21 edition of the Champions League will also be handed out.

Champions League draw: Seeds and clubs in each Pot

Pot 1

  • Chelsea (ENG)
  • Villarreal (ESP)
  • Bayern (GER)
  • Manchester City (ENG)
  • Atlético de Madrid (ESP)
  • Inter Milan (ITA)
  • Sporting CP (POR)
  • LOSC Lille (FRA)

Pot 2

  • Real Madrid (ESP)
  • Barcelona (ESP)
  • Juventus (ITA)
  • Manchester United (ENG)
  • Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)
  • Liverpool (ENG)
  • Sevilla (ESP)
  • Borussia Dortmund (GER)

Pot 3

  • Porto (POR)
  • Ajax (NED)
  • Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
  • Leipzig (GER)
  • Salzburg (AUT)
  • Benfica (POR)
  • Atalanta (ITA)
  • Zenit (RUS)

Pot 4

  • Beşiktaş (TUR)
  • Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)
  • Club Brugge (BEL)
  • Young Boys (SUI)
  • AC Milan (ITA)
  • Malmö (SWE)
  • Wolfsburg (GER)
  • Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA)

Champions League draw: Format and rules

Right, let’s get the usual bits out of the way, what you need to know before the actual draw takes place.

Clubs are paired together (Barcelona and Real Madrid, Liverpool and Man United, Inter and Juventus, and so on) so that when one comes out into the draw first, the other has to go on the ‘other’ side of the draw. That way, they never play on the same evening in the group stage.

As usual, no teams of the same nationality can be drawn in the same group.

Eight groups, four teams in each, one from each Pot.

Champions League draw: Live coverage as Premier League clubs learn group stage opponents

Good afternoon all and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the Uefa Champions League group stage draw, the start of the journey for all clubs as they bid for glory, silverware and the chance to replace Chelsea as champions of Europe.

Four Premier League clubs learn their fate today, their three opponents in the group phase, with the top two as usual going through to the knock-outs. In the future there will be a single league with all 36 clubs in it playing 10 games – but that format doesn’t kick in until 2024/25.

One other absolutely critical thing we’ll learn at the draw is the new logo for the 2022 final! Oooh, exciting. You know the one, the ‘Road to …’ which accompanies all the backgrounds and adverts and that sort of thing. This time it’s the Road to St. Petersburg, by the way – all roads lead to Russia in the Champions League this year.

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