UEFA Champions League: Group Stage Draw; Live Thread

Bostjan Cernensek

Live thread for the Champions League Group Stage

The Road to Berlin begins today with the Champions League Group Stage draw that will be held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, with coverage beginning at 5:45pm CET. 32 clubs, of which 22 automatically qualified for this stage of Champions League football, have been split into four pots, depending on their UEFA coefficient ranking. The remaining 10 teams have already fought their way to make it this far through as much as three round of football.

The Group Stage of the competition will once again welcome clubs into its ranks that have never in the history of the competition made it this far. This year Malmö FF and PFC Ludogorets Razgrad earn the bragging rights, both teams winning the playoff tie after losing the first leg away from home. Two teams, La Liga's own Athletic Bilbao and Slovenia's NK Maribor, return to the Champions League for the first time since the new millennium, with both sides making just their second Champions League appearance, with the previous coming in the late 1990s.

As for the rules of the draw, eight groups will be formed, consisting of one team from each pot. Teams from the same association, which is a fancy way of saying: "teams from the same country", can't be drawn together. Group Stage matches will be played from 16 September to 10 December, as usually, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The draw will be live streamed on UEFA.com.

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
Spain Real Madrid CF
Germany FC Schalke 04
Germany Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Belgium RSC Anderlecht
Spain FC Barcelona Germany Borussia Dortmund Greece Olympiacos FC
Italy AS Roma
Germany FC Bayern München Italy Juventus
Russia PFC CSKA Moskva
CyprusAPOEL FC
England Chelsea FC
France Paris Saint-Germain FC Netherlands AFC Ajax
Belarus FC BATE Borisov
Portugal SL Benfica
Ukraine FC Shakhtar Donetsk
England Liverpool FC
Bulgaria PFC Ludogorets Razgrad
Spain Club Atlético de Madrid Switzerland FC Basel 1893 Portugal Sporting Clube de Portugal Slovenia NK Maribor
England Arsenal FC
Russia FC Zenit
Turkey Galatasaray AŞ
France AS Monaco FC
Portugal FC Porto
England Manchester City FC Spain Athletic Club de Bilbao
Sweden Malmö FF