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Champions League 2020/21 draw: All you need to know

Sky Sports provides the definitive guide to when the Champions League draw takes place, who is involved and how it can be followed

Manuel Neuer lifts the Champions League trophy for Bayern Munich
Image: Manuel Neuer lifts the Champions League trophy for Bayern Munich

The Champions League draw for the 2020/21 season takes place this week, with the quartet of Premier League representatives set to learn their fate.

It was just six short weeks ago that Bayern Munich defeated Paris Saint-Germain in Lisbon to claim their sixth European Cup, but they will begin their defence next month alongside 31 other clubs with dreams of reaching the final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul next May.

Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea will all be involved in this season's competition, as Sky Sports explains all you need to know ahead of this week's draw...

When is the Champions League draw?

Hansi Flick
Image: Hansi Flick celebrates with the Champions League trophy in Lisbon

The 2020/21 UEFA Champions League group stage draw takes place Thursday at 4pm BST at the RTS studios in Geneva.

The Champions League group stage draw has been moved from Athens and will now be a behind-closed-doors event at UEFA's headquarters in Switzerland.

European football's governing body confirmed the news on Tuesday, saying to stage the event in the Greek capital would "violate public health restrictions and constraints regarding indoor events" in the country.

How can I follow it?

 Manuel Neuer (R) and Thomas Müller of FC Bayern Muenchen pose with the trophy as the UEFA Champions League winners arrive at Airport Munich on August 24, 2020 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Philipp Guelland - Pool/Getty Images)
Image: Bayern will be looking to defend their title by reaching the final in Istanbul

We will also be live blogging the draw, bringing you all the news as it happens on and our app.

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How does it work?

Pep Guardiola
Image: Pep Guardiola's Manchester City were beaten in the quarters last season

The six winners of the play-off ties will join the 26 teams that have already booked their place in the group stage.

There are four teams in each group, one from each 'pot', which theoretically stops the strongest teams from knocking one another out too early.

The top pot, Pot 1, includes last season's Champions League winners Bayern Munich and Europa League winners Sevilla, as well as Liverpool and the rest of the domestic champions from the top-six performing leagues across Europe.

Who could PL clubs face?

Club coefficient rankings determine Pots 2 to 4 while no team can play a club from their own association, meaning all Premier League clubs will be in different groups.

The Premier League champions Liverpool could still be drawn alongside either Barcelona, Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund while Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea will be keen on avoiding one of the big boys in Pot 1 - Porto and Zenit are the perceived 'easier' top seeds.

RB Leipzig, Inter Milan and Atalanta's presence in Pot 3 throws up the possibility of a 'Group of Death' scenario the English cubs will want to avoid.

Who is involved in the draw?

Partey impressed against Liverpool during the Champions League last 16
Image: Liverpool were knocked out by Atletico Madrid last season

Confirmed teams in the draw...

  • ESP (4): Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla
  • ENG (4): Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea
  • ITA (4): Juventus, Inter, Atalanta, Lazio
  • GER (4): Bayern, Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Borussia Monchengladbach
  • FRA (3): Paris Saint-Germain, Marseille, Rennes
  • RUS (2): Zenit Saint Petersburg, Lokomotiv Moscow
  • POR (1): Porto
  • BEL (1): Club Brugge
  • UKR (1): Shakhtar Donetsk
  • TUR (1): Istanbul Basaksehir
  • NED (1): Ajax
  • GRE (1): Olympiakos
  • UKR (1): Dynamo Kiev
  • HUN (1): Ferencvaros

What are the pots?

Marcus Rashford celebrates with team-mates Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood
Image: Manchester United will be in Pot 2 along with Man City and Chelsea

Pot 1: Bayern, Sevilla, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Porto.

Pot 2: Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Ajax.

Pot 3: RB Leipzig, Inter Milan, Lazio, Atalanta, Dynamo Kiev, Olympiakos, Red Bull Salzburg, Krasnodar

Pot 4: Borussia Monchengladbach, Istanbul Basaksehir, Rennes, Ferencvaros, Midtjylland, Lokomotiv Moscow, Marseille, Club Brugge

When does the football start?

The group stages get underway in the week of October 19, with six rounds of group games running through to mid-December.

  • Matchday 1: October 20/21
  • Matchday 2: October 27/28
  • Matchday 3: November 3/4
  • Matchday 4: November 24/25
  • Matchday 5: December 1/2
  • Matchday 6: December 8/9

Whoever is lucky enough to go all the way will go head to head at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul - where Liverpool beat AC Milan back in 2005 - on May 29.

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