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Champions League group stage draw explainer: Newcastle first appearance since 2002

Let’s Go, Mag-Pies!

UEFA Champions League 2021/22 Quarter-finals and Semi-finals Draw Photo by Pierre Albouy - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

The draw for the 2023-24 Champions League group stage is set to take on Thursday, Aug. 31, with Newcastle United appearing in the group stage of the competition for the first time since 2002.

The Magpies will enter the draw in Pot 4, among the lowest-ranked teams in European Coefficient because of their lack of experience and appearances in continental competitions in recent seasons.

Here is everything you need to know about Thursday’s Champions League Group Stage draw.

Date and Venu

The Champions League group stage draw is scheduled for August 31 at 5 pm BST (12 pm ET). It will be hosted at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, marking its return to the venue after three years. Notably, this year’s final will be held at Wembley Stadium in London.

Draw Format

The 32 participating teams are divided into four pots, each containing eight teams. Pot 1 consists of the previous season’s Champions League and Europa League winners, along with domestic champions from top European leagues. Teams from Pots 2 to 4 are determined by club coefficient rankings. Groups will be composed of one team from each of these pots.

Pots and Teams

Based on current club coefficients, the expected pot distribution is as follows:

Pot 1: Manchester City, Sevilla, Barcelona, Napoli, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Benfica, Feyenoord.

Pot 2: Real Madrid, Manchester United, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig, Porto, Arsenal.

Pot 3: Shakhtar Donetsk, Red Bull Salzburg, AC Milan, Lazio, Red Star Belgrade, Braga, PSV Eindhoven, Copenhagen.

Pot 4: Newcastle United, Union Berlin, Lens, Real Sociedad, Celtic, Galatasaray, Young Boys, Antwerp.

Group Stage Schedule

The complete fixture schedule for the group stage will be announced after the draw’s conclusion. The first set of games is scheduled for September 19 and 20, with subsequent fixtures in October and November.

Key Dates

Beyond the draw and group stage, significant dates include the Round of 16 draw on December 18, 2023, the quarter-final and semi-final draw on March 15, 2024, and the final scheduled for June 1, 2024.