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Champions League Draw 2021-22: Schedule of Dates for Group Stage Fixtures

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 26, 2021

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - AUGUST 26: The UEFA Champions League trophy is displayed in the Halic Congress Center ahead of the UEFA Champions League 2021/22 Group Stage Draw on August 26, 2021 in Istanbul, Turkey.  (Photo by Burak Kara - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)
Burak Kara - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

The 32 clubs taking part in the 2021-22 Champions League know their path to the knockout stage after Thursday's draw.

Reigning champion Chelsea was placed in Group H alongside Juventus, Zenit and Malmo.

Group A also seems like one of the toughest groups at first glance, featuring Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, RB Leipzig and Club Brugge.

Here is the full draw for all eight groups:

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

The Champions League group stage is set! 🏆 <a href="https://t.co/J4YyxzG3rl">pic.twitter.com/J4YyxzG3rl</a>

The group stage matches are scheduled to begin on Sept. 14. 

  • Matchday 1: Sept. 14-15
  • Matchday 2: Sept. 28-29
  • Matchday 3: Oct. 19-20
  • Matchday 4: Nov. 2-3
  • Matchday 5: Nov. 23-24
  • Matchday 6: Dec. 7-8

The draw for the round of 16 will be held Dec. 13, with the knockout stage beginning in February.

All eyes might be on Group A with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City both considered top contenders to win it all.

PSG added Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum and Gianluigi Donnarumma to a team that might have been a top contender even without any transfers. With Messi, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria and others leading the attack, this will not be an easy team to contain.

Manchester City defeated Paris Saint-Germain in the semifinals last year and got even better with the addition of Jack Grealish.

There could be even more drama with the Premier League squad reportedly close to acquiring Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus, according to Rodrigo Faez and Gabriele Marcotti of ESPN.

It could mean another two battles between all-time greats Messi and Ronaldo.

John Bennett @JohnBennettBBC

Man City v PSG in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCL</a> group stage. It was meant to be! <br><br>Could be even spicier if a certain transfer happens.

With RB Leipzig and Club Brugge also in the group, there won't be any easy battles for these top clubs.

The remaining English squads have some tough competition as well, as Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool all look to advance to the knockout stage. 

Liverpool is in an especially intriguing group alongside former European champions AC Milan and Porto, as well as reigning La Liga winner Atletico Madrid. 

Real Madrid is already the winningest club in this competition with 13 titles and will try to go through Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk in Group D—the three teams also battled in the group stage a year ago. Sheriff Tiraspol, the first-ever club from Moldova to reach the group stage, will round out the group.

With Barcelona and Bayern Munich also facing off in Group E, there is no shortage of quality matchups ahead for the 2021-22 UCL season.