After a 2018/19 season that coughed up some of the most memorable games in UEFA Champions League history, we can all get ready for another competition full of thrills, mouth-watering clashes and shocks galore.
In particular, last season's finalists Tottenham and Liverpool await their fates, while Manchester City will be gunning for success under Pep Guardiola, and in the background, Frank Lampard will be hoping to upset the odds with his youthful Chelsea side.
Here's everything you need to know about the draw for the 2019/20 Champions League group stages.
When & Where Is it?
The draw will be taking place on Thursday, August 29 in Monaco, France, at the Grimaldi Forum.
Ahead of the actual reveal, a customary draw ceremony is expected to begin at 4PM prior to the big moment, which is expected at around 5PM.
The whole event is likely to take around an hour, as a series of awards for last season's Champions League will be presented, including:
- UEFA Men's Player of the Year
- UEFA Women's Player of the Year
- Goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and forward of the 2018/19 Champions League season
Where to Watch?
Viewers will be able to watch the draw for free on UEFA’s official website via live stream, while BT Sport will provide coverage and analysis across their platforms.
How Will it Work?
As usual, the 32 teams have been divided into four pots with eight clubs in each pot. When the draw starts, teams from Pot 1 will be drawn into the first eight groups (A-H), with the process continuing as such for the remaining three pots, going up numerically.
As a result, clubs in Pot 1 can't be drawn against each other, the same applying for Pot 2 and so on. For example, Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona, Manchester City, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Zenit St Petersburg make up Pot 1, so are unable to face each other in the group stages.
While teams from the same pot will avoid each other during the group stage, the same applies for teams from the same association. For example, Spurs have been placed in Pot 2, which means they are unable to play any of their fellow Premier League rivals in Pot 1, which means they will definitely face one of either Barcelona, Juventus, PSG, Bayern or Zenit in their respective group. Similarly, Real Madrid and Barcelona would also be kept apart in the initial stage, with Los Blancos in Pot 2, and so on.
Clubs from Russia and Ukraine may also not be drawn together.
The Pots are as follows:
|Zenit St Petersburg|
|Red Bull Salzburg|
|Red Star Belgrade|
Pot 1 consists of the holders, the Europa League winners and the champions of the six highest-ranked nations. Pots 2 to 4 are determined by the club coefficient rankings, which is determined either by the sum of all points won in the previous five years or by the association coefficient over the same period.
Matchday one of the group stage will take place on September 17/18 and conclude 11 weeks later on 10/11 December, followed by the knockout draw soon after.
Full group stage fixture dates:
|17/18 September||Matchday one|
|1/2 October||Matchday Two|
|22/23 October||Matchday Three|
|5/6 November||Matchday Four|
|26/27 November||Matchday Five|