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Sports Champions League guide: 32 teams set to learn group foes

11:31  01 october  2020
11:31  01 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

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The group stage draw for the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League has been made, with holders Liverpool, 13-time winners Real Madrid, hopefuls The 32 competing teams were split into pots (1-4), with one side from each pot assigned to each of the eight groups (A-H). Liverpool are to meet Napoli

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GENEVA — The 32 elite teams in the Champions League groups drawn Thursday will feature 12 former winners and four newcomers on European soccer’s biggest club stage.

Leon Goretzka, Robert Lewandowski are posing for a picture © Provided by The Canadian Press

Defending champion Bayern Munich’s six titles are among 47 held by this year’s lineup for the 66th edition of the European Cup or Champions League. Real Madrid leads with 13 titles.

Three of the four debutants -- Krasnodar, Istanbul Basaksehir and Midtjylland -- were formed by relatively recent mergers and have a combined age younger than the competition itself.

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The 2020/21 UEFA Champions League group stage draw takes place from 17:00 CET on Thursday 1 October at the RTS studios in Geneva. How does the draw work? The 26 teams given direct entry to the group stage are joined by the six winners of the play-off ties decided on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Thirty - two clubs will participate in the group stage of the Champions League with 26 automatically qualifying and the other six via the play-offs. The teams will be drawn into eight groups of four teams each but for the purpose of the draw they'll be divided into four pots of eight. No team can play a club

The other newcomer, Rennes, dates its history to 1901 but never finished as high as third in the French league until last season.

A total of 15 countries are represented with Ferencváros giving Hungary just its second entry in 25 years.

The top-seeded teams in each of eight groups are the Champions League and Europa League title holders —- Bayern and Sevilla, respectively — plus league winners of the highest-ranked countries. They are: Real Madrid, Liverpool, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Zenit St. Petersburg and Porto.

It means Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo can be drawn in a four-team group with second-seeded Barcelona and Lionel Messi.

Here's a look at the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League, starting one month later than usual in a season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic:

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Read our Champions League beginner's guide to learn more about the best European club soccer tournament featuring the world's greatest clubs. Looking to watch Champions League online from your office, home or on the go? If you live in the USA, there are several options to catch all the action.

UEFA Champions League - Champions League group stage draw: Pot 2 - News. UEFA coefficient ranking: 21 How they qualified: first in Eredivisie Last season: group stage (UEFA Europa League round of 32 ) Best European Cup performance: winners (1970/71, 1971/72, 1972/73, 1994/95).

SEEDING THE TEAMS

UEFA seedings for pots 2 to 4 ranks teams by Champions League and Europa League results in the previous five years.

Leipzig and Atalanta came out of lowest-ranked pot 4 last season. Both went deep into the knockout rounds and are now in pot 3.

Italian teams who have rarely been in the Champions League since 2015 — Inter Milan, Atalanta and Lazio — are in pot 3.

The lowest-ranked team, No. 135, Ferencváros, is also from the lowest-ranked country, No. 33 Hungary. It is the only group-stage team to come through four qualifying rounds that started in mid-August.

DRAW RULES

No teams from the same country can be put in the same group. It means a group can include teams from each of Europe’s four highest-ranked leagues. So, it could be Real Madrid, Manchester City, Inter Milan and Borussia Mönchengladbach.

UEFA will ensure teams from Russia and Ukraine are kept apart for security reasons. That rule has been in place since 2014 when Russia annexed the Crimea region from Ukraine and separatist conflict flared in eastern Ukraine.

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The Champions League is now entering its conclusive stages after Manchester City were axed from the tournament at the last-16 stage on Kylian Mbappe looks set to be the danger man for the French team . Has only scored two goals in tournament so far, however his pace and flair is what makes him

League of Legends is a team -based game with over 100 million active players taking to the Rift every month. How to Set Up an Ambush. Where to Teamfight. Fighting Around Objectives. Now we’re getting to the part of the guide that everybody wants to know and learn , how exactly do you play as

Since then, Shakhtar Donetsk has been unable to play at its Donbass Arena home. Shakhtar played its group-stage home games in Kharkiv last season.

CORONAVIRUS EFFECT

All games in the qualifying rounds were played in stadiums without fans because of the pandemic.

UEFA hopes some teams, with approval from local public authorities, can let spectators attend when games start on Oct. 20.

Some games could be played in neutral countries if infection rates spike as winter approaches.

UEFA said last week the fixture program can be extended from Dec. 9 to Jan. 28 to play any games postponed because of virus cases or travel limits.

$2.3 BILLION PRIZE FUND

In a normal season, the 32 teams would be line to share prize money of 1.95 billion euros ($2.3 billion) from UEFA.

That sum is the Champions League clubs’ share of 3.25 billion ($3.8 billion) total revenue from broadcasting and commercial sales for UEFA’s club competitions.

However, it depends on the competition being played on schedule without disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. Last season’s prize money fund lost 575 million euros ($670 million) to pay back broadcasters for disruption and fewer knockout round games.

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The UEFA Champions League (abbreviated as UCL) is an annual club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and contested by top-division European clubs

This list shows all champions as they appear in the store, along with their assigned classes, release dates and purchase costs. As of 21 September 2020 there are currently 151 released champions , with the latest being Samira, the Desert Rose.

The winner in Istanbul's Ataturk Olympic Stadium on May 29 can expect to get at least 120 million euros ($140 million) from UEFA.

All 32 clubs are due a basic fee of 15.25 million euros ($17.8 million) plus more based on match results, shares of national broadcast rights, and a ranking of their historical record in UEFA competitions.

KICKOFF TIME

UEFA’s draw ceremony show starts at 5 p.m. local time (1500 GMT) at television studios in Geneva.

Typically a late-August event in hot and humid Monaco, the plan for this pandemic-delayed season was changed to go to Athens on Oct. 1. Greece became an impractical option and UEFA staff will now make the short trip to Geneva from their base in nearby Nyon.

UEFA will also present annual awards for the best men’s and women’s players and coaches in European soccer last season.

DRAW POTS

Pot 1: Bayern Munich (Germany), Sevilla (Spain), Real Madrid (Spain), Liverpool (England), Juventus (Italy), Paris Saint-Germain (France), Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia), Porto (Portugal).

Pot 2: Barcelona (Spain), Atlético Madrid (Spain), Manchester City (England), Manchester United (England), Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine), Borussia Dortmund (Germany), Chelsea (England), Ajax (Netherlands).

Pot 3: Dynamo Kyiv (Ukraine), Salzburg (Austria), Leipzig (Germany), Inter Milan (Italy), Olympiakos (Greece), Lazio (Italy), Krasnodar (Russia), Atalanta (Italy).

Pot 4: Lokomotiv Moscow (Russia), Marseille (France), Club Brugge (Belgium), Borussia Mönchengladbach (Germany), Istanbul Basaksehir (Turkey), Midtjylland (Denmark), Rennes (France), Ferencváros (Hungary).

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

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