In a few hours, Europe’s most prestigious club competition will take another step into its proper action for this season, with the draw for the group stages about to be made.
As usual, the draw is made in respect to the seedings of the teams beforehand, with the champions of Europe’s top eight leagues thrown in Pot One. But in some cases, when none of the champions of Europe’s top eight leagues end up as winners of the previous season’s Champions League, one top-seed spot is given to the Champions League winner, just like this season with Real Madrid.
Another top-seed position could be a given to a team that neither wins their domestic league or the Champions League, if the side ends up in a Champions League spot via league position and also wins the Europa League, just like Atletico Madrid, who are seeded in Pot One.
Three Spanish teams are top seeds, while the Premier League has just league champions Manchester City in that spot, with Tottenham and Manchester United in Pot Two, while last season’s Champions League finalists Liverpool are in Pot Three.
Bayern Munich are also in Pot One, as well as Juventus and Russian champions Lokomotiv Moscow, while Benfica and Borussia Dortmund are second seeds, alongside Italians Napoli and Roma.
Inter Milan, back in the Champions League for the first time in six years, are seeded fourth, with the likes of Hoffenheim, BSC Young Boys, and Viktoria Plzen.
The UEFA Champions League group stage is scheduled to begin at 5pm (17:00) Nigerian time, and coincides with the European awards ceremony.
Pot 1: Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Lokomotiv Moscow, Manchester City, Paris St. Germain
Pot 2: Tottenham, Manchester United, Roma, Napoli, Benfica, Borussia Dortmund, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk
Pot 3: CSKA Moscow, Liverpool, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia, Lyon, Schalke, Monaco
Pot 4: Viktoria Plzen, Inter Milan, Hoffenheim, BSC Young Boys, Red Star Belgrade, Galatasaray, AEK Athens, Club Brugge