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The UEFA Champions League group-stage draw details: When is the draw, how it works, teams and pots, and the end of away goal rule

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The UEFA Champions League group-stage draw details: When is the draw, how it works, teams and pots, and the end of away goal rule

Thursday 26 August is a key day in every Champions League football lover as that is when clubs European path will be carved out in Istanbul in the Champions League group-stage draw, which will start at 18:00 CEST.

HOW THE DRAW WORKS

Each group will be made up of one team from each pot. Thursday’s draw will consider the classic rule which states that teams from the same association cannot face each other in the group stage. 

Any other confinements will be announced ahead of the draw ceremony.

UEFA has stated that if an association has two representatives, the clubs will be paired in order to split their fixtures between Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

 If an association has four (or more) representatives, two pairings will be made, which will be based on TV audiences and will be confirmed prior to the draw.

THE 26 TEAMS TO HAVE QUALIFIED SO FAR: THE POTS

At the moment, 26 clubs have automatically qualified for the Champions League group stage. The other six teams will be decided by the results of the play-offs. The return fixtures of the following ties are scheduled to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday: Salzburg 2-1 Brondby; Young Boys 3-2 Ferencvaros; Malmo 2-0 Ludogorets; Sheriff Tiraspol 3-0 Dinamo Zagreb; Monaco 0-1 Shakhtar Donetsk; Benfica 2-1 PSV.

With the exception of pot 1 which is already confirmed, the pots will be finalised after the play-offs.

Pot 1

This includes the UEFA Champions League holders, the UEFA Europa League holders and the winners of the six highest-ranking leagues (Spain, England, Germany, Italy, France and Portugal).

Chelsea (ENG) [98,000] – UEFA Champions League holders

Bayern Munich (GER) [134,000]

Manchester City (ENG) [125,000]

Atletico Madrid (ESP) [115,000]

Villarreal (ESP) [63,000] – UEFA Europa League holders

Inter (ITA) [53,000]

Sporting CP (POR) [45,500]

LOSC Lille (FRA) [14,000]

Pot 2

Real Madrid 

Barcelona

Juventus

Manchester United

Paris Saint-Germain

Liverpool

Sevilla

Borussia Dortmund

Pot 3

Porto

Ajax

Leipzig

Atalanta

Zenit

Pot 4

Besiktas

Bruges

Dynamo Kyiv

Milan

Wolfsburg

THE END OF THE AWAY-GOAL RULE

The five-substitution rule remains in place in the 2021/22 Champions League. It is worth noting that if the aggregate score is level after the second leg, extra-time will be played, followed by a penalty shootout to determine the winner if necessary, regardless of the number of goals that each side has scored away from home.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DATES

GROUP STAGE

Matchday one: 14/15 September

Matchday two: 28/29 September

Matchday three: 19/20 October

Matchday four: 2/3 November

Matchday five: 23/24 November

Matchday six: 7/8 December

KNOCKOUT STAGE

Round of 16: 15/16/22/23 February and 8/9/15/16 March 2022

Quarter-finals: 5/6 and 12/13 April 2022

Semi-finals: 26/27 April and 3/4 May 2022

Final: 28 May 2022

Draw dates

26 August 2021: group stage (Istanbul, Turkey)

13 December 2021: round of 16

18 March 2022: quarter-finals and semi-finals

THE FINAL WILL BE PLAYED IN SAINT PETERSBURG

Saint Petersburg will stage the 2021/22 Champions League final. Zenit’s home ground was originally scheduled to host the 2021 final, which was eventually moved to Lisbon due to the pandemic.

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The UEFA Champions League group-stage draw details: When is the draw, how it works, teams and pots, and the end of away goal rule

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