UEFA Champions League draw: Live updates, list of groups for 2021 UCL group stage

Based on how the pots have broken out, we’re guaranteed some serious drama during the 2021-2022 UEFA Champions League group stage draw that takes place in Istanbul, Turkey on Thursday. The potential heavyweight pairings could be impressive: Bayern Munich vs. Liverpool and Manchester City vs. Paris Saint-Germain are real possibilities.

Here’s how the group stage draw works: The 32 teams are split into four pots and there will be a team from each pot that will make up the Groups A-H. But there are some restrictions: Teams from the same country can’t be drawn in the same group. And there are certain teams that have to be drawn in specific groups for TV reasons. Scroll down for those details.

We also should learn the specific dates for the matchups in each group. All group-stage matches will be played in the following six prescheduled windows: Sept. 14-15, Sept. 28-29, Oct. 19-20, Nov. 2-3, Nov. 23-24 and Dec. 7-8. Each team will play just as many Tuesdays as it does Wednesdays.

Sporting News will be following the draw live and providing updates as the groups fill out. Season awards will also be handed out. Follow along below:

WATCH: Champions League group stage draw on fuboTV

Champions League draw groups

Group A

Pot 1: 
Pot 2:
Pot 3:
Pot 4:

Group B

Pot 1:
Pot 2:
Pot 3:
Pot 4:

Group C

Pot 1:
Pot 2:
Pot 3:
Pot 4:

Group D

Pot 1:
Pot 2:
Pot 3:
Pot 4:

Group E

Pot 1:
Pot 2:
Pot 3:
Pot 4:

Group F

Pot 1:
Pot 2:
Pot 3:
Pot 4:

Group G

Pot 1:
Pot 2:
Pot 3:
Pot 4:

Group H

Pot 1:
Pot 2:
Pot 3:
Pot 4:

How to watch Champions League group stage draw

CBS is carrying the Champions League draw live on CBS Sports Network (CBSSN) and streaming on all its platforms. The CBSSN feed will be streamed live on fuboTV (free 7-day trial).

Live Champions League draw updates

All times ET

9:06 a.m.: Here’s a subplot that everyone will also be paying attention to in Istanbul. With the big clubs present for the draw, there is probably some negotiating that will be happening:

7:11 a.m.: Here’s our Champions League draw presenter for today:

How the group stage draw works

The 32 teams are divided into four pots containing eight teams each. A name from each pot will be drawn for each of Group A through Group H.

The eight teams in Pot 1 are predetermined: The pot will consist of the Champions League holders (Chelsea), the Europa League holders (Villarreal CF) and the champions of the top six-ranked associations: Spain (Atletico Madrid), England (Manchester City), Germany (Bayern Munich), Italy (Inter Milan), France (Lille), and Portugal (Sporting CP).

The rest of the pots are broken out based on each club’s UEFA club coefficients. Here’s the list of teams in each pot in the order of their coefficient score.

Pot 1

Pot 2

Pot 3

Pot 4

Draw Restrictions: Teams can’t be drawn into groups against teams from their own country. On top of that, to maximize television audiences UEFA goes a step further to make sure that teams from the same country aren’t drawn into groups that play on the same day. That way Barcelona and Real Madrid, for example, don’t play at the same time, which would cannibalize the TV audience in Spain, let alone around the world.

Here’s how UEFA pulls this off: Organizers have identified the teams they want to ensure play on separate days. If one of those teams is drawn in Groups A-D, then the other team has to be drawn in one of Groups E-H, thus guaranteeing the two teams never play on the same day. The same would be true if one of the flagged teams is drawn in Groups E-H (the other team would then have to be drawn in one of Groups A-D). Here are the teams that UEFA announced will be kept apart: 

UEFA Awards

Here’s the list of awards that will be handed out in Istanbul based on last year’s Men’s and Women’s UEFA Champions League seasons (2020-2021):

Men’s Player of the Year

Men’s Goalkeeper of the Year

Men’s Defender of the Year

Men’s Midfielder of the Year

Men’s Forward of the Year

Men’s Coach of the Year

Women’s Player of the Year

Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year

Women’s Defender of the Year

Women’s Midfielder of the Year

Women’s Forward of the Year

Women’s Coach of the Year

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