With the first international break of the season looming on the horizon, it is also a signal that the start of the new Champions League campaign is about to begin come a few weeks from now. The only thing left before we know exactly where the six group stage fit into Juventus’ schedule is to go forth with the formalities of the first Champions League draw of the season.
And that is why we’re here today.
Pot 1. Pot 2. Pot 3. Pot 4. All the ducks are aligned in their proper rows and all that is left for the draw to begin is the annual videos and awards to be handed out before the fun can actually begin. (Or maybe it’s after. I can never remember.) Anyway, we will soon find out who Juventus will get as their first three European opponents of the season, a group stage that will hopefully be the appetizer to a knockout round entree that turns out a whole lot better than it did a season ago.
For a refresher before this thing gets underway, here are the four pots.
Pot 1: Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona, Manchester City, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Zenit St. Petersburg
Pot 2: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Tottenham Hotspur, Shakhtar Donetsk, Benfica, Ajax
Pot 3: Lyon, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Salzburg, Olympiakos, Valencia, Club Brugge, Inter Milan, Dinamo Zagreb
Pot 4: Lokomotiv Moscow, Genk, Galatasaray, RB Leipzig, Slavia Prague, Red Star Belgrade, Atalanta, Lille
I know it’s kinda stating the obvious at this point, but holy crap is Pot 2 an absolute best. When your “best” options are getting Shakhtar, Benfica or maybe even Ajax, you know that it’s likely going to end with a pretty tough No. 1 option when it comes to favorites to win your respective group.
It could be an interesting, interesting day based on what is hanging out there in the three pots Juventus’ European opponents will be drawn from.
As you all know, there are a few rules that come along with tonight’s draw, via the UEFA website:
- No team can play a club from their own association and, based on decisions taken by the UEFA Executive Committee, clubs from Russia and Ukraine must not be drawn in the same group.
- In the case of associations with two or more representatives, clubs will be paired in order to split their matches between Tuesday and Wednesday.
- If a paired club is drawn, for example, in Groups A, B, C or D, the other paired club – once drawn – will automatically be assigned to one of Groups E, F, G or H.
- The draw also establishes the groups for the UEFA Champions League path of the UEFA Youth League.
So now we wait. And then we overanalyze because that’s just what happens whenever a Champions League draw of any kind happens. It’s time to sit back and enjoy the show, I guess. What fun their could be ... or something like that.
When: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019
Where: Grimaldi Forum, Montecarlo, Monaco
Start time: 6 p.m. local time in Monaco and around Europe; 5 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 12 noon Eastern Time; 9 a.m. Pacific Time
HOW TO WATCH
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