Clubs set to find out Champions League group stage opponents

Clubs set to find out Champions League group stage opponents

(CNN)Clubs across Europe will find out their UEFA Champions League group stage fixtures this afternoon as the draw for the opening round takes place in Monaco.

Getting underway at 6pm CEST (12pm ET), the draw will determine who teams will face in the opening stage of the competition.
The 32 teams that have qualified are split into four pots, with a team from each pot drawn into each group, until eight groups comprising of four teams are drawn.
    Reigning champion Liverpool — which beat fellow English side Tottenham in the final in Madrid last year — is in pot one.
    Joining the Reds are Europa League winner Chelsea, as well as the champions of the six highest-ranked nations which are Manchester City, Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Paris St-Germain and Zenit St Petersburg.
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    The remaining 24 teams are divided into pots two to four according to their club coefficient rankings — a ranking system devised by UEFA based on a team’s previous results in Europe.
    Clubs set to find out Champions League group stage opponents

    No team can play another team from its own association, ensuring Tottenham, for example, which is in pot two, will not be drawn against one of the other English sides.
    13-time winner Real Madrid is in pot two alongside city rival Atletico and last season’s semifinalist Ajax, which qualified for this year’s edition after beating Cypriot champion Apoel Nicosia over two legs.
    Italian side Inter Milan, champion in 2010, is in pot three, while Champions League newcomer Atalanta is in pot four.
    The draw will be streamed live on the UEFA website, with the opening round of fixtures taking place on September 17 and 18.
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      This season’s final takes place on May 30 at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul.
      The Europa League draw will take place on Friday.