UEFA Champions League 18/19: Everything you should know before Thursday's Draw
The UEFA Champions League is just around the corner, with the group-stage draw set to happen on the 30th of August in Monaco. Real Madrid come off the back of their third consecutive Champions League title, while Juventus are without the services of Gianluigi Buffon, who decided to pen a contract with PSG in July.
Barcelona's new captain Lionel Messi openly expressed his ambitions to reclaim the prestigious trophy, while Jose Mourinho looks to bring back United's former glory. All of the above statements only exaggerate the level of intensity and the amount of excitement this new season will bring to us, so before we begin, let's have a look at everything we need to know before the draw on Thursday.
Date: August 30th, 2018
Time: 18:00 GMT (22:30 IST)
Venue: the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco
Where to Watch: https://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/ (live streaming)
Number of Teams: 32
Defending Champions: Real Madrid CF ( 🇪🇸)
Most Titles: Real Madrid CF (13)
Location of the Final: Estadio Wanda Metropolitano (Madrid, ESP)
Pot 1 consists of the champions of the top six leagues in Europe according to their UEFA ranking along with the winners of the previous Champions League and Europa League. Consistent domestic league winners such as Bayern Munich, PSG, and Juventus find themselves in Pot 1 yet again and are the favorites to top their respective groups.
The three most followed Spanish teams of Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, and FC Barcelona are looking to continue the country's European dominance as fans expect them to seamlessly reach the latter stage of the tournament.
Real Madrid did lose star player Cristiano Ronaldo to fellow pot members Juventus, who have spent an enormous amount of money to bring in players like João Cancelo and Douglas Costa to the club.
The 2015 finalists are shaping up for another lengthy European campaign after narrowly falling short ever since. Ronaldo is expected to form a fearsome front three with the aforementioned Costa and Argentinian sensation Paulo Dybala.
Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow recently won the Russian Premier League, and have bolstered their squad with the loan signings of Benedikt Höwedes and PSG midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak.
Pep Guardiola's Manchester City will naturally want to improve their record in the Champions League, and the addition of Riyad Mahrez on the right wing means that they have one of the fiercest attacking three in the competition, something that has proved vital for the previous winner's campaign.
Click on Next to view Pot 2