by Wareez Odunayo
2017-18 UEFA Champions League is the 63rd season of Europe’s premier club football competition organised by UEFA, and the 26th season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs’ Cup to the UEFA Champions League. The 2018 UEFA Champions League Final will be played at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine.
This year’s UCL draw takes place on Thursday and will be streamed live on UEFA Draw Centre.
When and where is the Champions League group stage draw?
The UEFA Champions League draw takes place at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco on Thursday 24 August. The draw begins at 18:00CET and will be streamed live on UEFA.com.
How does it work?
The draw consists of 32 teams, made up of 22 automatic qualifiers and 10 via the play-offs.
Teams are divided into four pots based on the following principles: Pot 1 is defending champions and domestic title holders of the top seven countries; Pot 2, 3 and 4 contain the remaining teams ranked in order of their 2017 Uefa coefficient.Teams from the same country cannot be drawn together.
Which teams are in which pots?
Pot 1: Real Madrid (ESP, holders), Bayern München (GER), Juventus (ITA) Benfica (POR), Chelsea (ENG), Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), Monaco (FRA), Spartak Moskva (RUS)
Pot 2: Barcelona (ESP), Atlético Madrid (ESP), Paris Saint-Germain (FRA), Borussia Dortmund (GER), Sevilla (ESP), Manchester City (ENG), Porto (POR), Manchester United (ENG)
Pot 3: Napoli (ITA), Tottenham Hotspur (ENG), Basel (SUI), Olympiacos (GRE), Anderlecht (BEL), Liverpool (ENG), Roma (ITA), Beşiktaş (TUR)
Pot 4: Celtic (SCO), CSKA Moskva (RUS), Sporting CP (POR), APOEL (CYP), Feyenoord (NED), Maribor (SVN), Qarabağ (AZE), RB Leipzig (GER)
The draw also establishes the groups for the UEFA Champions League path of the UEFA Youth League.
The following awards will be also be presented during the draw:
UEFA Men’s Player of the Year
UEFA Women’s Player of the Year
Goalkeeper of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League season
Defender of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League season
Midfielder of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League season
Forward of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League season
When will the competition be played?
The group stage matches will be divided into six match days with games to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
- Matchday 1: September 12 and 13
- Matchday 2: September 26 and 27
- Matchday 3: October 17 and 18
- Matchday 4: October 31 and November 1
- Matchday 5: November 21 and 22
- Matchday 6: December 5 and 6
Future draw dates
11 December: Round of 16 draw
13-14 & 20-21 February,2018: Round of 16, first leg
6-7 & 13-14 March, 2018: Round of 16, second leg
16 March, 2018: Quarter-final draw
3-4 April,2018: Quarter-finals, first leg
10-11 April,2018: Quarter-finals, second leg
13 April: Semi-final and final draw
24-25 April: Semi-finals, first leg
1-2 May: Semi-finals, second leg
26 May: Final (NSK Olimpiyski, Kyiv)