Here we go! One of the defining moments of any season of football among Europe’s elite clubs is the draw for the group stage of the Champions League – and the one for the 2017/18 edition begins this evening at 6.00pm CET in Monte Carlo, with 32 teams awaiting their fate, including for the 14th year in a row FC Barcelona.
The defending champions and the winners of Europe’s seven highest ranked leagues go into pot one, while the remaining teams are ranked by UEFA coefficient depending on performances in recent editions of the competition.
That means that the Catalans will be in pot two, along with Atlético Madrid, PSG, Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, Manchester City, Porto and Manchester United – so they won’t be sharing a group with any of those sides, nor with Real Madrid from pot one, as no two teams from the same league can be drawn together.
Bayern, Juventus, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham among possible opponents
But Barça could cross paths with any of the other top seeded teams, namely Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Juventus, Benfica, Monaco, Spartak Moscow and Shakhtar Donetsk.
There are some tricky opponents among the third set of teams as well: Napoli, Tottenham, Basel, Olympiacos, el Liverpool, Anderlecht, Roma and Besiktas.
The fourth and final group consists of Celtic, CSKA Moscow, Sporting Lisbon, APOEL, Feyenoord, Maribor, Qarabağ and RB Leipzig.
The games will be played from September 12 to December 6, with the top two teams from each group going into the knockout stages after Christmas, in the build-up to the grand final, which this year is being held for the first time in Kiev.
So roll on 6.00pm CET and let’s see which places Barça will be visiting this year!