MX23RW : Thursday, November 15 04:54:31

Live Coverage: Champions League group draw - as it happened

Live Coverage: Champions League group draw - as it happened
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Relive Sports Mole's live coverage of the 2018-19 Champions League draw from the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco

Thank you for joining Sports Mole for live coverage of the 2018-19 Champions League group-stage draw.

Thirty-two teams are in the hat for the start of the competition proper, including four representatives from England.

Manchester City are in with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain in Pot One, while Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are in Pot Two and Liverpool in Pot Three.

There will be no Scottish representation in this year's tournament due to Celtic's failure to make it past the qualifying rounds.

The draw is scheduled to get under way at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco at around 5pm.


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4.55pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the 2018-19 Champions League group-stage draw from the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. Thirty-two teams are in the hat for the start of the competition proper, including four representatives from the English Premier League - Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool.

4.58pmThe draw is due to get under way in the south of France at 5pm, so let us jump straight into things by checking out the four pots.

POT ONE: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus, Paris Saintt-Germain, Lokomotiv Moscow

POT TWO: Borussia Dortmund, Porto, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli, Tottenham Hotspur, Roma, Benfica

POT THREE: Liverpool, Schalke, Lyon, Monaco, Ajax, CSKA Moscow, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia

POT FOUR: Red Star Belgrade, Viktoria Plzen, Club Brugge, Galatasaray, Inter Milan, Hoffenheim, Young Boys, AEK Athens


5.02pmPot One is made up of the champions of the top six associations, according to the 2017 coefficients, together with the holders of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. The anomaly, with the greatest of respect, is Lokomotiv Moscow - the side that each of those in the other three pots will want to face. The draw is not as straightforward as it may seem, though, as certain teams cannot face each other: Lokomotiv and Shakhtar Donetsk being two of those that will be separated.

5.06pmIt should also be pointed out that certain teams have also been paired off for television purposes. It essentially means that Manchester United and Liverpool, who could not face each other as you cannot be placed in a group with a team from your own country, will play on different evenings so that UEFA can bring in as many viewers are possible. Also paired together are the likes of Manchester City/ Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid/ Barcelona, Juventus/ Inter Milan and Bayern Munich/ Borussia Dortmund.

5.10pmJumping ahead a little, the first set of group fixtures will take place on September 18 and 19, while the concluding fixtures are scheduled for two weeks before Christmas. The dream for each of those sides in the draw is a run right through to the final, and this year's showpiece will be staged in the Spanish capital of Madrid. Fitting, it can be said, as Real Madrid have won the competition three years running. The Bernabeu will not be used, though - instead it will be staged at Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano home.

General view inside the Wanda Metropolitano, August 2017


5.13pmThe Grimaldi Forum is packed out and the draw is now fast approaching. There has been plenty of preamble, as ever with these ceremonies, but it looks as though we will be getting under way in the next five minutes or so. Reshmin Chowdhury and Pedro Pinto are our hosts for the evening, if you were wondering...

5.18pmBefore we begin the draw, there is time for UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin to explain why David Beckham has been awarded this year's President's Award. The Englishman is described as a "true icon" of the sport and claims the award as a recognition for his outstanding achievements both on the field and away from it. Beckham enters stage right and swiftly exits after joking that it has been a while since he was last invited to one of these ceremonies.

5.22pmRighteo, we are about to get this show on the road. Kaka and Diego Forlan, both of whom have strong links to Madrid, have been welcomed to the stage to help with proceedings. Plenty of current of former stars of the game in attendance this evening, including Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah who is in the running for one of the top honours up for grabs.



5.26pmStill not quite ready, sorry! Keylor Navas is the latest player to be welcomed on to the stage. The Real Madrid keeper, soon to be relegated to second choice behind Thibaut Courtois, has been named as the best goalkeeper in last season's competition. Makes you wonder why Los Blancos were so keen to splash out big on Courtois, but that's for another day...

5.30pmThings are finally getting serious in Monaco as the draw procedure is being explained. Here is a reminder of the four pots.

POT ONE: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Lokomotiv Moscow

POT TWO: Borussia Dortmund, Porto, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli, Tottenham Hotspur, Roma, Benfica

POT THREE: Liverpool, Schalke, Lyon, Monaco, Ajax, CSKA Moscow, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia

POT FOUR: Red Star Belgrade, Viktoria Plzen, Club Brugge, Galatasaray, Inter Milan, Hoffenheim, Young Boys, AEK Athens


5.31pmThe first team to be drawn out are highly ambitious Paris Saint-Germain, who are placed into Group C.

5.31pmNext up is reigning champions Real Madrid, looking to make it four in a row this year by going all the way. Los Blancos are in Group G.

5.32pmGerman champions Bayern Munich, winners of this competition in 2013, are placed in Group E.

5.33pmBarcelona, five-time winners of the competitions, are next out of the proverbial hat and placed in Group B. We're speeding along nicely now...

5.33pmFellow Spanish side Atletico Madrid, granted an automatic spot in the competition thanks to their Europa League success, are in Group A.

5.34pmJuventus, now the home of superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo and therefore favourites of many to lift the cup, go into Group H.

5.35pmThe first of England's four representatives, Manchester City, have been pulled out and placed into Group F. That leaves just one side from Pot One...

5.36pmLast and quite possibly least, Lokomotiv Moscow - unquestionably the weakest of the top seeds - go into Group D.

5.39pmSome good news for Manchester City fans, as teams in Group F have a good record of going all the way in this competition...



5.42pmSergio Ramos is on the stage after being voted the Champions League's best defender last season - yet another campaign that ended with the Spanish centre-back lifting the most famous club trophy of them all. And with that we move on to Pot Two...

5.43pmFirst out from Pot Two are Porto, who will go into Group D alongside Russian champions Lokomotiv Moscow.

5.43pmThere are six groups available to Roma due to the various permutations, and last term's semi-finalists are placed in Group G with Real Madrid.

5.44pmManchester United, another former winner in among the second seeds, join Juventus in Group H. Cristiano Ronaldo is already licking his lips!

5.45pmNext out are Borussia Dortmund, beaten finalists against Bayern Munich in 2013, are assigned Group A with Atletico Madrid.

5.45pmOnly two groups open for Shakhtar Donetsk, and they go into Group F with Manchester City. The Fernandinho derby, as nobody will call it.

5.46pmBenfica can only go into Group E, alongside Bayern Munich. Just a couple more sides left to be draw from Pot Two...

5.47pmGroup C is looking tasty - Napoli are in with Paris Saint-Germain. Tottenham Hotspur are the last remaining side...

5.48pmTottenham Hotspur fans, you have a trip to Camp Nou to look forward to. Not sure Mauricio Pochettino will be all that happy that his side have been placed in Group B.

5.52pmAnother stoppage now for Luka Modric to receive his best midfielder award. The Croatia international starred in the Champions League last term and also impressed in Croatia's run to the World Cup final - well deserved.

5.53pm

5.53pmWe are up and running in Pot Three, beginning with French side Lyon going into Group F with Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk.

5.54pmKaka opens up the kinder egg-style ball and inside is CSKA Moscow, who will join Real Madrid and Roma in Group G. Tough one for the Russians.

5.54pmSchalke are placed in Group D with Lokomotiv Moscow and Porto. That one has a Europa League feel to it.

5.55pmManchester United fans have a potential end-of-year trip to sunny Spain to look forward to, as Valencia are placed in Group H with the Red Devils and Juventus.

5.56pmEredivisie representatives PSV Eindhoven are placed in Group B with Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur.

5.57pmGroup E is the only one available for past winners Ajax, so in they go alongside Bayern Munich and Benfica.

5.58pmAnother straightforward one, as Monaco - hosts of this ceremony - go into Group A with Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

5.58pmGroup C is where it is at this year! Liverpool are drawn in a group with Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli. I'm expecting a fair few goals across those six fixtures...

6.00pmCristiano Ronaldo, who has a trip to Manchester United to look forward to in the group stage, is named as forward of the year for the 2017-18 Champions League. He's not here to collect the award so we continue with the draw...



6.01pmA first experience of the Champions League group stage for Hoffenheim, who are in with Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk and Lyon in Group F. We have our first completed group!

6.02pmTurkish giants Galatasaray can go into any of the seven remaining groups. The Sorting Hat (or Diego Forlan, as they call him) pulls out Group D, seeing them join Lokomotiv Moscow, Porto and Schalke.

6.02pmSwiss champions Young Boys, back in the Champions League proper following a short hiatus, go into Group H with Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona and Valencia.

6.03pmFive groups left to fill, and one of those has been taken by Red Star Belgrade. The Serbian giants are in with Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli and Liverpool in Group C. Good luck!

6.04pmClub Brugge go in with Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in Group A. Just three groups left to fill...

6.05pmVictoria Plzen, the champions of Czech Republic, are placed in Group G. That is also the group of Real Madrid, Roma and CSKA Moscow. Should be a good battle for the Europa League spot...

6.06pmInter Milan, the fallen giants of Italian football who were in Pot Four, are placed in Group B with Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur and PSV Eindhoven. Wow!

6.07pmThe final team to be drawn are AEK Athens, who join Bayern Munich, Benfica and Ajax in a competitive Group E. And breathe!

6.08pmSo many incredible group-stage ties to look forward to over the next few months, including Manchester United vs. Juventus, Tottenham Hotspur vs. Barcelona and Liverpool vs. Paris Saint-Germain. Manchester City have the best draw of the English sides, with no standout fixtures.

6.10pmHere is a reminder of the eight completes groups...

Group A: Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Monaco, Club Brugge

Group B: Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur, PSV Eindhoven, Inter Milan

Group C: Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli, Liverpool, Red Star Belgrade

Group D: Lokomotiv Moscow, Porto, Schalke 04, Galatasaray

Group E: Bayern Munich, Benfica, Ajax, AEK Athens

Group F: Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon, Hoffenheim

Group G: Real Madrid, Roma, CSKA Moscow, Viktoria Plzen

Group H: Juventus, Manchester United, Valencia, Young Boys


6.12pmThat concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of the 2018-19 Champions League group-stage draw. There will be plenty of reaction from the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco elsewhere on the site in the coming hour, so be sure to stick around for that. Thanks for joining!

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1210203653132
2Liverpool129302351830
3Chelsea128402781928
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs1290320101027
5Arsenal1273226151124
6Bournemouth126242116520
7Watford126241714320
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd126242021-120
9Everton125431915419
10Leicester CityLeicester125251716117
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves124441213-116
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124261318-514
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham123361418-412
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle12237915-69
15Burnley122371225-139
16Crystal Palace12228817-98
17Southampton12156821-138
18Cardiff CityCardiff122281125-148
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12147622-167
20Fulham121291131-205

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