Champions League group stage draw live blog

European football has been back for quite some time. The Premier League, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 have been underway for almost three weeks now. But the start of another Champions League season, when the continent’s top clubs compete in the floodlights on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, is when the term ‘European football’ comes into its own. .

And every Champions League campaign starts long before matchday one of the group stage. Qualifying may have been taking place since June, but it’s the group draw tonight in Istanbul that truly marks the start of the 32 participating clubs’ journey to the final on June 10 – here in the largest city ​​in Turkey.

Do you still feel the hype? Join us in the celebrations, as we bring you all the buzz, build-up and bravado as UEFA set the stage for the 2022-23 Champions League.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, more (US)

Group A: Ajax, Liverpool, Napoli, Rangers

Group B: FC Porto, Atlético Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Club Brugge

Group C: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, ​​Inter Milan, Viktoria Plzen

Group D: Eintracht Frankfurt, Tottenham Hotspur, Sporting CP, Marseille

Group E: AC Milan, Chelsea, FC Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb

Group F: Real Madrid, RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk, Celtic

Group G: Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, Copenhagen

Group H: Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Benfica, Maccabi Haifa


19.04 BST: Alright, ladies and gentlemen, that will do for this live blog following the Champions League group stage draw. Thank you all for joining us, and keep checking back throughout the day as we bring you more feedback and analysis on this year’s competition.

6:59 p.m. BST: Thomas Muller is ready to reunite with his former No.9. Bayern v Barca, folks, put it on your calendars.

6:57 p.m. BST: According to FiveThirtyEight’s Soccer Power Index, Group A (Ajax, Liverpool, Napoli, Rangers) are the toughest group in this year’s competition, followed by Group C (Bayern, Barca, Inter, Viktoria Plzen) and Group E (Milan, Chelsea, Salzburg, Zagreb). The easiest group, by far, is Group H (PSG, Juve, Benfica, Maccabi Haifa).

6:52 p.m. BST: More good news for this unlucky club Real Madrid: not only does Group F have the most Champions League titles this year (15), but seven previous winners have come out of Group F, more than any other group in the competition history. Everything is getting ready for El Decimoquinto in the Spanish capital.

6.48pm BST: Group C has more former champions than any other in this year’s competition: Bayern last won the Champions League in 2020, Barca in 2015 and Inter in 2010. Nerazzurri may not care about such a strong group stage test, having beaten Barca in the semi-finals and Bayern in the final in their title run under Jose Mourinho 12 years ago.

6.40pm BST: According to ESPN Stats & Info, no group in this year’s Champions League has more titles than Group F’s 15. Let’s break that down really quickly: it’s 14 for Real Madrid and one for Celtic.

6.33pm BST: We also have UEFA Coach of the Year awards, with England boss Sarina Wiegman winning the women’s award after leading the Lionesses to an incredibly impressive European Championship on home soil, while Carlo Ancelotti won the men’s crown after taking Real Madrid to La Liga-Champions League double.

6.27pm BST: Our favorite Frenchman Julien Laurens is very satisfied with Benzema’s achievement. Enjoy a bubbly ride on me, Juls!

6.25pm ​​BST: Also in Spain, the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award goes to Karim Benzema. The 2021-22 campaign has been memorable for the Real Madrid captain, winning the Champions League, La Liga and the Spanish Supercopa, as well as the UEFA Nations League with France.

6.21pm BST: It’s been a heartbreaking spring and summer for Alexia Putellas, who suffered a Champions League final defeat with Barcelona and then tore her ACL on the eve of this summer’s European Championship, but maybe that the 28-year-old player can console herself by having just been appointed. UEFA Player of the Year. She is the first player in history to win this award two years in a row.

6.16pm BST: For our readers in the United States, the nine clubs with American players have been split into eight different groups, according to legendary statistician Paul Carr.

18.09 BST: On paper, Spurs’ Group D assignment (against Eintracht, Sporting and Marseille) might seem straightforward enough, but ESPN Stats & Information informs me that the North London club have lost the previous two fixtures. of the Champions League against French opposition – in the 2016 group stage. against Monaco.

18.03 BST: The last time Celtic qualified for the knockout stages, in 2012-13, they also shared the group with a Spanish team (Barcelona). So while a Group F draw with Madrid, Leipzig and Shakhtar might seem daunting, history suggests it could suit the Scottish side down to the ground.

6:00 p.m. BST: That’s it! The group stage draw is over! Now, let’s dive a little deeper into some of the tastiest matchups we have in store this fall.

5.50pm BST: New immediate reunion, with Borussia Dortmund trained in group G against Erling Haaland and his new club, Manchester City!

5.44pm BST: Also, Bayern Munich versus Barcelona?! Robert Lewandowski takes on his former club (and Bayern’s all-time top scorer in the competition) from the start!

5.43pm BST: Really mouth-watering matches with Pot 2 in the books. PSG and Juventus have faced each other on eight occasions, but this will be the first time they face each other in the Champions League. The Parisians are winless in these competitions, losing six and drawing two.

5.35pm BST: Dale Johnson with details on where Liverpool can expect to land.

5.32pm BST: This is the full Pot 1, with the eight clubs listed above.

5:29 p.m. BST: Ajax is the team’s first draw, they will go to Group A.

5:24 p.m. BST: OK, it looks like we’re about to fire some bullets right now. We will soon know which teams will be placed in which group.

5:19 p.m. BST: The top prize of the day goes to former Italian head coach Arrigo Sacchi. He receives the 2022 UEFA President’s Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements that transcend the sport of football. Sacchi won back-to-back European Cups with AC Milan in 1988-89 and 1989-90 and led Italy to second place at the 1994 World Cup.

5.17pm BST: The draw has officially begun, but Celtic have captured the mood perfectly, waiting for the names to be drawn from Pot 1.

17.06 BST: Our Bundesliga voice Derek Rae is ready to put this show on the road. But the drama, Derek! The drama! And the pageantry!

5:00 p.m. BST: Places, everyone! Places! The show is about to begin!

4:54 p.m. BST: From the great Gab Marcotti: “This year’s draw, like the last few years, is taking place in Istanbul. Few media present, compared to where they traditionally host it: Monaco. Further away, more expensive flight and less Prince Albert…”

4.45pm BST: Need a refresher on how these 32 teams landed in Pots 1, 2, 3 and 4? Dale Johnson explains where Europe’s national champions qualify and how the UEFA coefficient set the stage for today’s draw. Read the full story.

4.39pm BST: This is where the magic is about to happen.

4:28 p.m. BST: These are the pots from which the 32 clubs will be drawn, with each group containing one team from each pot.

16.21 BST: Not a single name has been drawn yet, but we can already reveal some information about which groups certain teams will land in and how the schedule will unfold throughout the group stage. Our Dale Johnson details which teams cannot be grouped together and which cannot be scheduled to play on the same night.

16.07 BST: Before we get too carried away with the 2022-23 edition of the tournament, let’s take a moment to reflect on last season’s Champions League. UEFA have published their annual technical report on the competition from the previous campaign, and we’ve compiled the key takeaways from the 106 pages of analysis. Read the full story.

4:00 p.m. BST: Alright, we’re one hour away from the draw kicking into high gear, but let’s get this party started. Our Gab Marcotti is on the ground in Istanbul, sending you every detail so you don’t miss a moment of the big event of the day.