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When is the 2018-19 Champions League Group Stage Draw?

We'll soon find out the pairings and matchups for the Champions League group stage.

The 2018-19 Champions League group stage draw ceremony will begin at 12 p.m. ET (18:00 CET) on Thursday, Aug. 30. It takes place at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco and will be streamed live on

The final six teams will book their tickets through the qualifying playoffs on Tuesday and Wednesday to complete the 32-team field and the four pots from which the eight groups will be drawn.

The first round of group stage matches will take place on Sept. 18 and 19. The top two finishers in each group qualify for the knockout stage, which begins on Feb. 12. The final, which will be played at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid is slated June 1.

Last season, Real Madrid defeated Liverpool 3–1 in Kiev, Ukraine, to earn its third consecutive title and will be placed in the top pot as the defending champion.

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The first pot is made up of the defending Champions League winner, defending Europa League winner and the six champions of the top leagues as determined by UEFA's coefficient ranking. Those eight teams are: Real Madrid (UCL), Atletico Madrid (UEL), Barcelona (La Liga), Manchester City (Premier League), Bayern Munich (Bundesliga), Paris Saint-Germain (Ligue 1), Juventus (Serie A) and Lokomotiv Moscow (Russian Premier League).

The remaining 24 teams are ranked by UEFA's club coefficient, which takes a number of factors into account.

No teams from the same association can be drawn together, so Manchester City would not be able to be in the same group as Liverpool, for instance.