Sports Lisbon can enter C, D or F. It turns out that it is Group D for them. They are with Eintracht Frankfurt and Tottenham Hotspur.
Bayer Leverkusen also has only one option: Group B with Porto and Atletico Madrid.
Borussia Dortmund is in Group G, their only option. They will face Manchester City and Sevilla.
Benfica will enter Group H with PSG and Juve.
Salzburg next out. They can go into any of the remaining groups, and that’s it Group E for them, along with Milan and Chelsea.
Napoli is the first Pot 3 club out of the bag. They enter Group A with Ajax and Liverpool.
A: Ajax, Liverpool
B: Porto, Atletico Madrid
C: Bayern Munich, Barcelona
Q: Eintracht Frankfurt, Tottenham Hotspur
E: AC Milan, Chelsea
F: Real Madrid, RB Leipzig
G: Manchester City, Sevilla
H: Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus
The final Pot 2 club out is Athletic Madridand they enter Group B with Porto.
Chelsea later, and they must enter Group E in with AC Milan.
Barcelona follows They enter Group C with Bayern Munich.
Seville go in Group G with Manchester City.
Liverpool next They can only go in A, B or C … and that’s it Group A for last season’s runners-up. They will face Ajax.
Tottenham Hotspur can go in A, B, C, D or E. They are selected for Group Dwhere they will play Eintracht Frankfurt.
Juventus are second They can only go in Groups G and H … and they are in Group H with PSG.
RB Leipzig is the first Pot 2 team drawn by Toure. Altintop puts them in Group F along with Real Madrid.
C: Bayern Munich
Q: Eintracht Frankfurt
E: AC Milan
F: Real Madrid
G: Manchester City
H: Paris Saint-Germain
PSG is the final Pot 1 club from the bowl. They enter Group H.
Manchester City is in Group G.
Real Madridthe reigning and 14-time champions, enter Group F.
AC Milan insert into Group E.
Eintracht Frankfurtthe Europa League champions and 1960 European Cup finalists, enter Group D.
Bayern Munich will enter Group C.
Porto is the second team out. The Portuguese champions enter Group B.
Yaya Toure starts the draw by picking the first ball from Pot 1. It is Ajax. They will enter Group A.
Altintop and Toure take their positions behind the pots. The draw is about to begin! Uefa deputy general secretary Giorgio Marchetti and Uefa head of club competitions Tobias Hedtstück arrive to take care of the proceedings. No legally binding guarantees, you know how these things get drawn out in more ways than one… but it looks like we’ll be leaving in a minute or two.
The Champions League trophy is brought on the Istanbul stage by Hamit Altintop. The former Turkish international played in the final (2010) for Bayern Munich, who were defeated 2-0 by Internazionale. He will also help with the draw, along with Yaya Toure, who joins everyone on stage. Toure was part of the Barcelona team that beat Manchester United 2-0 in the 2009 final.
They are also giving out prizes tonight. The first is the President’s Award, which will go to a former player or manager whose achievements on and/or off the field have helped develop the game. Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin waxes lyrical about winner Arrigo Sacchi. “He was a visionary in my opinion,” Ceferin says of the former Milan and Italy coach, who won the European Cup with the Rossoneri in 1989 and 1990. “His teams attacked home and away, he was never afraid. Great respect, he deserves the prize.” Sacchi takes to the stage and is introduced with his gong. Luis Figo, sitting in the audience, makes a few clicks with his phone. You have enough time to make a cup of tea.
Hosts Pedro Pinto and Reshmin Chowdhury took to the stage in Istanbul. After two minutes, and they have already done the first assembly. As that winds down across the continent, here are the clubs most likely to win this year Champions League, according to bookmaker aggregation site Oddschecker: Manchester City are favored, followed by PSG, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Internazionale, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund. Let’s see if any of that changes after the draw is made.
It’s Football Weekly Extra’s turn to reflect on the group stage of the draw. Colin McMillan of Rangers podcast Heart and Hand joins Max, Barry and others to share just how big this is for the Light Blues.
Current and previous winners in the draw: Real Madrid, AC Milan, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Ajax, Internazionale, Juventus, Benfica, Chelsea, Porto, Celtic, Marseille, Borussia Dortmund.
Previous finalists hoping to go one better in the end: Atletico Madrid, Eintracht Frankfurt, Brugge, Tottenham Hotspur, PSG, Manchester City.
More on that TV pairing. We might as well, we have time to kill. To ensure that some clubs from the same country do not mess up the TV schedule on the same day, Uefa has made 11 pairings. All eight groups are distinguished by color – A to D red, E to H blue – and when a paired club is pulled into, say, one of the red groups, the computer will ensure that the other paired club is assigned blue. Head hurts. The pairings are as follows:
Real Madrid and Barcelona
Eintracht Frankfurt and RB Leipzig
Manchester City and Liverpool
AC Milan and Napoli
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund
PSG and Marseille
Porto and Benfica
Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur
Juventus and Internazionale
Athletics Madrid and Seville
Rangers and Celtics
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The schedule. This year’s group stage is compressed into a nine-week window, as opposed to the usual three months. The things we do for Qatar. The first battle day is Tuesday 6 September, the final on Wednesday 2 November. Here are the dates for your diary…
1st battle day: September 6th and 7th
2nd battle day: September 13th and 14th
3rd battle day: October 4 and 5
4th battle day: October 11th and 12th
5th battle day: October 25th and 26th
6th battle day: November 1st and 2nd
… then after everyone has had their fill of the World Cup, the competition starts again later than normal. Here’s how the rest of it goes:
Round of 16: February 14 and 15; 7 and 8 of March
Round of 16: 21 and 22 February; 14 and 15 of March
Quarter-finals: 11 and 12 April; April 18 and 19
Semi-finals: 9 and 10 May; 16 and 17 May
Then the final on Saturday June 10, 2023, at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul. As a great man once wondered after pondering the mechanics of an unnecessarily complicated draw: who will that be?
The draw for the 2022-23 group stage Champions League takes place tonight at the Ataturk stadium in Istanbul. The seed pots look like this…
Pot 1: Real Madrid, Eintracht Frankfurt, Manchester City, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint Germain, Porto, Ajax
Pot 2: Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, RB Leipzig, Tottenham
Pot 3: Borussia Dortmund, Salzburg, Shakhtar Donetsk, Internazionale, Napoli, Benfica, Sporting Lisbon, Bayer Leverkusen
Pot 4: Rangers, Marseille, Copenhagen, Club Brugge, Celtic, Viktoria Plzen, Maccabi Haifa, Dinamo Zagreb
… and the usual rules apply. Teams from Pot 1 will be drawn into Groups A to H, then teams from the next three Pots in turn are drawn from the bowls of destiny. When a team of Pots 2, 3 and 4 is selected, a computer immediately discards them in the first available group, considering restrictions. These are: two teams from the same country cannot face each other, while certain pairs from the same country must play on different nights for television purposes. Don’t ask, life is too short, so the computer will handle it.
The draw is scheduled to start at 7pm in Istanbul, which is 5pm BST. Of course, there won’t be a successful amount of pomp, piss, faff and filler before anyone deigns to get down to business. But as soon as those damn balls are picked, separated, the paper inside them unwrapped, the names on the paper read aloud and the teams assigned to groups, you will be the first to know. It’s on!