The names of all 32 clubs that will play in Champions League group stage this season are known. Today the draw will decide the groups, and let’s figure out what the baskets look like to.
8 clubs, 8 champions… Champions League winners Real Madrid lead the group of 8 champions, which also include the likes of Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, Serie A winners and UCL runner-ups Juventus, the champions of Portugal Benfica, EPL title holders Chelsea, the Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk, the Ligue A winners Monaco and the champions of Russian Premier League Spartak Moscow.
These 8 clubs will lead their respective groups and cannot be drawn against each other. The winners of last 2 editions of the Champions League, Real Madrid, are the club everyone wants to avoid meeting.
The second basket can make a real competition to the first one, since it includes some fearsome names such as Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Paris-Saint Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, Manchester City, Porto and Manchester United. All of these teams can compete for the title and can be considered as real contenders to win the prize in Kyiv in 2018.
The third basket features the following clubs: Napoli, Tottenham, Basel, Olympiacos, Anderlecht, Liverpool, Roma, Besiktas. Some of these clubs made their ways to UCL group stage through the play-offs. Despite few of them may be attractive opponents for big clubs, but the likes of Napoli, Tottenham, Liverpool or Roma can become a real danger for any club from the first two baskets.
This basket is usually considered as the collection of underdogs. All the clubs in this basket made their ways to Champions League through the qualification matches, and some of them even fought till death to earn a ticket to group stage. 8 clubs which are included in this basket are as follows: Celtic, CSKA Moscow, Sporting CP, APOEL Nicosia, Feyenoord, Maribor, Garabag, RB Leipzig.
Apart from the UCL draw, UEFA will announce the winners of several prizes, such as the UEFA player of the season. The following award will be distributed: