Manchester United, Celtic, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Barcelona will all be in action on the first day of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage after dates for the group matches were confirmed on Thursday.
United face Swiss side Basel in Group A, while Celtic will host Paris Saint-Germain in Group B on Tuesday, September 12, per the tournament's official website. The opening day will also feature Barcelona hosting Juventus in Group D.
Wednesday's group matches during the first week involve Manchester City travelling to Eredivisie champions Feyenoord in Group F, while Tottenham Hotspur host Borussia Dortmund at London's Wembley Stadium in Group H and Liverpool welcome Sevilla to Anfield for their Group E opener.
Holders Real Madrid begin their title defence against APOEL Nicosia at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Here are the other notable dates to begin the Champions League season:
- Tuesday, September 26: Borussia Dortmund vs. Real Madrid
- Wednesday, September 27: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Bayern Munich
- Tuesday, October 17: Manchester City vs. Napoli
- Wednesday, October 18: Benfica vs. Manchester United
- Tuesday, October 31: Olympiacos vs. Barcelona
- Wednesday, November 1: Real Madrid vs. Tottenham Hotspur
- Tuesday, November 21: Sevilla vs. Liverpool
- Wednesday, November 22: Juventus vs. Barcelona
- Tuesday, December 5: Chelsea vs. Atletico Madrid
- Wednesday, December 6: Porto vs. Monaco
The dates for the fixtures were confirmed following the draw, with the completed groups relayed on the tournament's official Twitter account:
The complete 2017/18 UEFA Champions League Group Stage draw! Most exciting group? #UCLdraw https://t.co/Jf9ebJrJ9t2017-8-24 16:53:37
United are first up in what looks a comfortable group for the Red Devils. However, as Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News noted, things didn't go United's way the last time they were drawn in a group with Benfica and Basel:
Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst
#mufc drew Basel and Benfica in 2011 group stage and went out.2017-8-24 16:39:05
Speaking of Benfica, United's meetings with the Portuguese giants bring together two of Europe's most decorated clubs, as Luckhurst pointed out:
Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst
United-Benfica steeped in European Cup history and offers good sub-plots (Lindelof, Mourinho and Mendes). #mufc2017-8-24 16:32:14
Other notable ties during the group stage include Liverpool facing Sevilla twice after the Spanish side beat the Reds handsomely in the 2016 Europa League final. Liverpool aren't the only English squad to run into some familiar faces, though.
Spurs will welcome Gareth Bale back to London when Real visit Wembley:
#UCLdraw FIXTURES: https://t.co/hHzNZpBTNI The shadow of @GarethBale11 looms over one pairing... https://t.co/thW4MCiTYZ2017-8-24 19:11:13
The Welshman left north London for the Spanish capital in a world-record deal in 2013 and has since won this tournament three times.
Elsewhere, there is another rematch of a recent European final in Group D, with Juve getting two chances for revenge after losing 3-1 to Barca in 2015's showpiece game. Meanwhile, Chelsea know all about Atletico Madrid's threat after Los Rojiblancos knocked the Blues out at the semi-final stage in 2014.
Bayern Munich's two matches with Neymar-led Paris Saint-Germain in Group B round out a star-studded stage packed with intriguing ties and the renewal of some old rivalries.