The continental extravaganza will kick-off on 17th September.
The road to Istanbul began with the group stage draw on the 29th of August 2019 at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. This year’s UEFA Champions League final will be held at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul on the 30th May 2020, 15 years after that memorable Liverpool comeback in the second half against AC Milan. Liverpool are the defending champions this year as well and will have tough competition from Manchester City, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and other top draws from Europe.
The 32 teams were allocated to four pots according to specific UEFA rules. Pot 1 comprised of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europe League winners and the respective domestic league winners of the top six ranked UEFA leagues.
The draw for Group A kicked off with Paris Saint Germain being drawn from Pot 1. They were then accompanied by the most decorated winners in the tournament, Real Madrid. PSG and Real Madrid last met in the Round of 16 in 2017 when the club from Spain went all the way to complete a hat-trick of Champions League wins. From Pot 3, Club Brugge from Belgium were drawn to fill the third spot in the group.
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Manchester City were the third team to be drawn from Pot 1. The English Champions were drafted into Group C. Shakhtar Donetsk from Ukraine were the team to be drawn next followed by Dinamo Zagreb from Croatia. Italian club Atalanta were the last to be drawn to complete the group.
Group D features Italian Champions Juventus. They will meet Atlético de Madrid in a repeat of last year’s Round of 16 fixture where a Ronaldo hattrick inspired a Juventus comeback after a first leg loss. Bayer 04 Leverkusen were the next to be drawn while Lokomotiv Moscow from Russia rounded off the group.
The defending champions Liverpool FC were drawn from Pot 1 in Group E. Napoli were drawn from Pot 2 repeating another group stage fixture from last season. Red Bull Salzburg from Austria were drawn into the group from Pot 3 while Belgian club Genk FC completed the draw of this particular group.
Group F provides us with quite some spectacle. Spanish Champions and last year’s semi-finalists FC Barcelona were drawn into this from Group 1. Providing them tough competitions are Borussia Dortmund and a rejuvenated Inter Milan side. Slavia Praha representing the Czech Republic were the final team to be drawn into the group and they may not be too happy about the result.
Group H also provides us with some tasty fixtures with three very competitive teams. Last season’s UEFA Europa League winners Chelsea were the first to be drawn. Last season’s semi-finalist AFC Ajax that was the revelation of Europe last season were drawn from Pot 2. Valencia and Lille OSC complete this group.