After PSV, Red Star and Benfica won their qualifiers, the Champions Leagueplay-offs are over and everything is already decided for the draw for the group stage scheduled for this Thursday in Monaco.
As is tradition, the Grimaldi Forum will host the gala (6pm CET) with which UEFA annually celebrates the official opening of the season.
With the help of Kaka, the special guest to participate in the ceremony, the 32 clubs will know who they have to face in the group stage of a competition that Real Madrid have won thirteen times and the last three editions consecutively.
Julen Lopetegui‘s team will be joined by Europa League winners, Atletico, in Pot 1 along with Bayern Munich, Manchester City,Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Lokomotiv, as champions of their leagues.
The fourth Spanish team in the competition, Valencia, will finally be included in Pot 3 after the elimination of Salzburg.
Group of death
The draw can throw up some very difficult confrontations.
For Real Madrid, Atletico and Barcelona, the worst possible scenario would be to meet Dortmund, Liverpool and Inter.
Valencia, on the other hand, would have a serious problem if they drew Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Inter.
A draw with interesting possibilities
In this draw, several interesting clashes could happen.
The Estadio Santiago Bernabeu could see the return of Jose Mourinho or Iker Casillas, and a visit from Carlo Ancelotti‘s Napoli would have a special flavour too.
Barcelona could have a chance to get immediate revenge over Roma, its executioner in the last edition of the Champions League, and Atletico Madridmay end up taking on Inter, a team with which Cholo Simeone has a special connection.
Valencia against Bayern Munich would allow Los Che to have a rematch of the final they lost in 2001.
The group stage will begin on Tuesday September 18 and will continue until December 12.
On February 12, 2019, the competition will resume and the final, on June 1, 2019, will take place at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.