Champions League group-stage draw: When is it and who could Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea face?

Holders Chelsea and Man City in Pot 1 and could face Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus or PSG; Man Utd and Liverpool in Pot 2 and could draw Bayern Munich, Atletico or Inter; follow draw with our live blog on the Sky Sports website and app

Image: Chelsea will start their Champions League defence in September - but against whom?

The Champions League group-stage draw takes place on Thursday, with Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea set to discover their first opponents in the 2021/22 competition.

When is the draw?

The 2021/22 UEFA Champions League group stage draw will take place from 5pm (BST) on Thursday August 26. The draw ceremony is being held in Istanbul, Turkey.

Which teams are in the draw?

Lionel Messi pictured holding his PSG jersey after a press conference
Image: Lionel Messi will turn out for PSG in this season's Champions League

Twenty-six teams qualified automatically for the Champions League group stage via their 2020/21 league position, while six further teams booked their places in the play-offs.

The Premier League has four representatives at the group stage.

  • England: Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea
  • Spain: Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Villarreal
  • Italy: Inter Milan, AC Milan, Atalanta, Juventus
  • Germany: Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund, Wolfsburg
  • France: Lille, Paris Saint-Germain
  • Portugal: Sporting, Porto, Benfica
  • Netherlands: Ajax
  • Russia: Zenit St Petersburg
  • Austria: Salzburg
  • Belgium: Club Brugge
  • Ukraine: Dynamo Kiev, Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Turkey: Besiktas
  • Switzerland: Young Boys
  • Sweden: Malmo
  • Moldova: Sheriff Tiraspol

How does the draw work?

Diogo Jota celebrates his equaliser against Manchester United
Image: Liverpool will not be able to face Manchester United or any of their other Premier League rivals at this stage

The 32 teams will be split into four seeding pots for Thursday's draw.

Pot 1 will consist of the holders, Chelsea, Europa League winners, Villarreal, and the champions of the six highest-ranked nations who did not qualify via one of the 2020/21 continental titles. Pots 2 to 4 will be determined by club coefficient rankings.

No team can play a side from their own league at this stage, meaning there will be no all-English ties until the knockout phase. UEFA will confirm any other restrictions ahead of the draw ceremony.

Also See:

The pots - and who Premier League sides could face

Holders Chelsea and Premier League champions Manchester City will be drawn from Pot 1, while Manchester United and Liverpool will be drawn from Pot 2.

Chelsea and City, last season's finalists, could be drawn against the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus or Paris Saint-Germain in the group stage, while United and Liverpool could draw Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich or Inter Milan, the respective reigning Spanish, German and Italian champions.

Champions League
Image: The draw for the group stages of the Champions League will take place on Thursday at 5pm, UK time

Pot 1: Chelsea, Villarreal, Atletico Madrid, Man City, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Lille, Sporting.

Pot 2: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Man Utd, PSG, Liverpool, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund.

Pot 3: Porto, Ajax, RB Leipzig, Benfica, Atalanta, Zenit, Shakhtar Donetsk, Salzburg.

Pot 4: Besiktas, Dynamo Kyiv, Club Brugge, Young Boys, AC Milan, Malmo, Wolfsburg, Sherrif Tiraspol.

When are the group stage games?

The full fixture list for the group stage will be revealed after the draw but UEFA has confirmed the matchday dates.

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

All the key Champions League dates

Round of 16: February 15/16/22/23 & March 8/9/15/16 2022
Quarter-finals: April 5/6 & 12/13 2022
Semi-finals: April 26/27 & 3/4 2022
Final: May 28 2022 (St Petersburg, Russia)

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