The draw for the 2020/21 Champions League group stage has been made, and boy was it a good one.
It’s been just over a month since the 2019/20 campaign ended but we are back already, preparing for the new edition, and the road to the final in Athens. Bayern Munich are the defending champions, having beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0, and are on the search for a seventh European Cup.
The draw also saw the four Premier League clubs (Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea) discover their fates as each looks to bring the Champions League back to England for the fifth time this century.
Who awaits Premier League clubs in UCL 2020/21?
- Liverpool: Ajax, Atalanta, Midtjylland (Group D)
- Man City: Porto, Olympiacos, Marseille (Group C)
- Man Utd: Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leizpig, Istanbul Basaksekir (Group H)
- Chelsea: Sevilla, Krasnodar, Rennes (Group E)
As Premier League champions, Liverpool were the first English name out of the hat, being placed in Group D. And Jurgen Klopp’s men were joined by four-time winners Ajax, last season’s dark horses Atalanta and group-stage first-timers Midtjylland.
Chelsea were next out of the hat and put in Group E alongside 2019/20 Europa League winners Sevilla and two Champions League group stage new boys in Krasnodar and Rennes, setting up an Edouard Mendy derby with the latter.
Manchester United, back in the Champions League after a year in the Europa League, were drawn in Group H against last season’s runners-up Paris Saint-Germain, whom they knocked out in 2018/19. Also joining them, and making up what appears to be the toughest quartet in the whole competition, are RB Leipzig and Turkish champions Istanbul Basaksehir.
Last season’s quarter-finalists Manchester City were put in Group C alongside Porto, Olympiacos and the only French side to ever win the Champions League, Marseille.
Elsewhere, arguably the biggest draw comes in Group G with Juventus and Barcelona grouped together. Or, in other words, Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo in the group stages of the Champions League! They were joined by Dynamo Kyiv and Ferencvaros.
The 13-time winners Real Madrid were also given a tough group, drawn alongside Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan and Borussia Monchengladbach, while holders Bayern were given Atletico Madrid, Red Bull Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow.
2020/21 Champions League group stage draw in full:
Group A: Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Red Bull Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moscow.
Group B: Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan, Borussia Monchengladbach.
Group C: Porto, Manchester City, Olympiacos, Marseille.
Group D: Liverpool, Ajax, Atalanta, Midtjylland.
Group E: Sevilla, Chelsea, Krasnodar, Rennes.
Group F: Zenit, Borussia Dortmund, Lazio, Club Brugge.
Group G: Juventus, Barcelona, Dynamo Kyiv, Ferencvaros.
Group H: Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, RB Leipzig, Istanbul Basaksehir.
When will the group stage fixtures be played?
The delayed start to the 2020/21 campaign means the Champions League group stage fixtures are slightly more condensed. However, it makes for a feast of Champions League football, with two blocks of three consecutive weeks for the group stage.
Matchweek 1: 20/21 October
Matchweek 2: 27/28 October
Matchweek 3: 03/04 November
Matchweek 4: 24/25 November
Matchweek 5: 01/02 December
Matchweek 6: 08/09 December