When is the Champions League group stage draw, and at what time is it?

All the info you need to know ahead of Thursday's group stage ball-picking…

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Europe's elite club competition is back – only this year it features some unlikely lads from the Premier League. 

Leicester go straight into Pot One (see below for other Pot One teams) after winning England's top division last season, while Tottenham return to the competition for the first time since 2010/11 and may face some of the big boys thanks to their place in Pot Three. 

Arsenal go into Pot Two, while Manchester City have joined them after beating Steaua Bucharest 6-0 on aggregate in the play-offs.

The group stage draw will take place in Monaco at 5pm BST on this coming Thursday, August 25. 

Meanwhile, all the clubs will be duking it out to secure a place in the final to be held on Saturday, June 3 at the National Stadium of Wales, Cardiff (otherwise known as the Principality Stadium, or better yet the Millennium Stadium).

Confirmed Pot teams

Pot One: Real Madrid (ESP, holders), Barcelona (ESP), Leicester City (ENG), Bayern Munich (GER), Juventus (ITA), Benfica (POR), Paris Saint-Germain (FRA), CSKA (RUS)

Pot Two: Atletico Madrid (ESP), Borussia Dortmund (GER), Arsenal (ENG), Manchester City (ENG), Sevilla (ESP), Napoli (ITA), Bayer Leverkusen (GER), Porto (POR)

Pot Three: Basel (SWI), Tottenham (ENG), Dynamo Kiev (UKR), Lyon (FRA), PSV (NED), Sporting (POR), Club Brugge (BEL), Borussia Monchengladbach (GER)

Pot Four: Besiktas (TUR), Ludogorets (BUL), Celtic (SCO), Legia Warsaw (POL), Monaco (FRA), Dinamo Zagreb (CRO), FC Copenhagen (DEN), FC Rostov (RUS)

Who can play who?

No team can play a club from their own league at this stage. Following a decision by the UEFA Executive Committee, Ukrainian and Russian teams can't be drawn against each other either. Probably for the best, that.

Play-off second-legs


  • Viktoria Plzen 2-4agg Ludogorets
  • Hapoel Beer Sheva 4-5agg Celtic
  • Legia Warsaw 3-1agg Dundalk
  • Roma 1-4agg Porto
  • Monaco 3-1agg Villarreal


  • APOEL 2-1agg FC Copenhagen
  • Salzburg 2-3agg (AET) Dinamo Zagreb
  • Manchester City 6-0agg Steaua Bucharest
  • FC Rostov 5-2agg Ajax 
  • Borussia Monchengladbach 9-2agg Young Boys

Matchday dates

September 13–14, 2016: Group stage, matchday one 
September 27–28, 2016: Group stage, matchday two 
October 18–19, 2016: Group stage, matchday three 
November 01–02, 2016: Group stage, matchday four 
November 22–23, 2016: Group stage, matchday five 
December 6–7, 2016: Group stage, matchday six 

February 14–15 and 21–22, 2017: Round of 16, first leg 
March 7–8 and 14–15, 2017: Round of 16, second leg 
April 11–12, 2017: Quarter-finals, first leg 
April 18–19, 2017: Quarter-finals, second leg 

May 2–3, 2017: Semi-finals, first leg 
May 9–10, 2017: Semi-finals, second leg 
June 3, 2017: Final (Cardiff)

Come back to later in the week for permutations of the best and worst possible outcomes for each Premier League side involved.

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