All you need to know about the Champions League draw

Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool will learn their Champions League group-stage opponents in Monaco this evening.

The draw for the pool phase begins at 5pm Irish time at the Grimaldi Forum (live on RTÉ News Now and RTÉ Player), with the ceremony also seeing the winners of the UEFA Player Awards being announced.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is on the shortlist for the men’s player of the year award, along with Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric.

Ronaldo – now with Juventus – and Modric were part of the Real Madrid side that beat Liverpool 3-1 in last season’s final in Kiev as Los Blancos won the competition for a third successive year.

The 2018-19 final will be held at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on 1 June next year

Scottish champions Celtic miss out on Thursday’s draw having been knocked out by AEK Athens in the third qualifying round earlier this month.

There are four pots of eight teams, with one team from each pot forming a group, although teams from the same association cannot face each other.

Premier League champions City, eliminated by Liverpool in the quarter-finals last term, are in pot one along with defending champions Real Madrid, Europa League winners Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Paris St Germain and Lokomotiv Moscow.

United and Spurs, who both exited at the last-16 stage in 2017-18, are in pot two, which also features Borussia Dortmund, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Benfica, Napoli and Roma.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will be in pot three alongside Schalke, Lyon, Monaco, Ajax, CSKA Moscow, Valencia and PSV Eindhoven.

Qualification for the group stage was completed on Wednesday evening when Benfica beat Greek side PAOK Salonika, Dutch champions PSV overcame BATE Borisov, and Red Star Belgrade defeated Red Bull Salzburg on away goals.

Serbian champions Red Star, winners in 1991, will be in pot four with Viktoria Plzen, Club Brugge, Galatasaray, Young Boys, Inter Milan, Hoffenheim and AEK Athens.

The first group matches take place on September 18 and 19. The Europa League group-stage draw takes place on Friday at 1pm.

 

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