The draw for the UEFA Champions League 2021-22 season was held on Thursday, August 26 and defending champions Chelsea are pitted against Juventus, Zenit and Malmo in Group H.
Group A features two Gulf-state owned clubs in Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. The teams are joined by RB Leipzig and Club Brugge. This seems like a rather easy passage to the knockouts for the cash-rich clubs given that Leipzig does not hold the same pedigree as they used to before. The departure of Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate has left them short in defence.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are in Group B alongside Atletico Madrid, FC Porto and AC Milan.
"It's Champions League, so that's how it is, and you have to play the best teams in Europe, and obviously some of them are in our group,” Klopp was quoted by Liverpool’s official website.
"We played, I don't know how often, already against Porto, so they will be waiting for us. We have obviously a little bit of [an] open bill with Atletico, and AC Milan, a historical one obviously.
"So, I think our supporters should be looking forward to it – we do, for sure.
Meanwhile, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk have been drawn together. The three teams were in the same group last season when Inter finished last while Shakhtar finished third.
Barcelona and Bayern Munich are in Group E and have high chances of qualifying for the knockout round as they are joined by Benfica and Dynamo Kyiv. Last year’s UEFA Europa League finalists Manchester United and Villarreal are in the same group alongside Atalanta and Young Boys.
UEFA Champions League 2021-22 groups
Group A: Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig, Club Brugge;
Group B: Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Porto, AC Milan;
Group C: Sporting CP, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Besiktas;
Group D: Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sheriff;
Group E: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Benfica, Dynamo Kyiv:
Group F: Villarreal, Manchester United, Atalanta, Young Boys;
Group G: Lille, Sevilla, Red Bull Salzburg, Wolfsburg;
Group H: Chelsea, Juventus, Zenit, Malmo
UEFA Champions League 2021-22 start date
The 2021-22 season of the UEFA Champions League will begin on September 14, 2021, and the final will be played on May 28, 2022. Here are the key dates you need to remember:
Matchday 1: 14-15 September, 2021
Matchday 2: 28-29 September, 2021
Matchday 3: 19-20 October, 2021
Matchday 4: 2-3 November, 2021
Matchday 5: 23-24 November, 2021
Matchday 6: 7-8 December, 2021
Round of 16
First leg: 15-16 February and 22-23 February, 2022
Second leg: 8-9 March and 15-16 March, 2022
First leg: 5-6 April, 2022
Second leg: 12-13 April, 2022
First leg: 26-27 April, 2022
Second leg: 3-4 May, 2022
28 May, 2022
UEFA Champions League 2021-22 fixtures
The fixture list for the UEFA Champions League 2021-22 season will be announced on Saturday, August 28.
Featured photo: AFP / Ozan Kose