Champions League
32 teams will learn their European fate in Thursday's group stage draw.Getty

The group stage draw of this season's Champions League takes place at Monaco's Grimaldi Forum later today. Here's all you need to know before it all gets started.

Where to watch live

The draw and its inevitably drawn out ceremony will be shown live on Sky Sports News HQ and BT Sport Europe. Uefa's official website will also have live coverage. The draw is scheduled to start 4:45pm UK time.

Preview

Following the conclusion of this week's playoff rounds, we now know which 32 teams will be eagerly waiting to learn their European fate in Thursday's Champions League group stage draw. Having eased past Club Brugge in their play-off, Manchester United have joined Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal as the Premier League's representatives.

Louis van Gaal led his side back into the competition after last year's absence where the rest of the English representation fell woefully short of the required standard. For the first time in history, they will be joined by five teams from Spain, with Sevilla and Valencia joining Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid courtesy of their respective Europa League and playoff successes. This year's revised format means the champions from each of Europe's top eight leagues will be kept away from each other until the knock out stages.

Pots and coefficients

For the first time in the competition's history, Pot 1 will consist of the competition's current holders and the champions of the top seven associations: Barcelona (Spain), Chelsea (England), Bayern Munich (Germany), Juventus (Italy), Porto (Portugal), Paris Saint-Germain (France) and Zenit St Petersburg (Russia). As Barcelona enter as both European and Spanish champions, the extra spot in Pot 1 goes to Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven.

As ever, teams from the same country cannot play each other in the group stages. The rest of the pots have been determined by the club's Uefa coefficient, which is calculated by the sum of all points won in the previous five years, plus 20% of their association's coefficient over the same period.

Pot 1: Barcelona, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Benfica, Paris, Zenit, PSV Eindhoven

Pot 2: Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Porto, Arsenal, Manchester United, Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen, Manchester City

Pot 3: Shakhtar Donetsk, Sevilla, Lyon, Dynamo Kyiv, Olympiacos, CSKA Moscow, Galatasaray, Roma

Pot 4: BATE Borisov, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Wolfsburg, Dinamo Zagreb, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Gent

Dates

After the draw, you will only have to wait a few more weeks before the Champions League is dominating your mid-week again. Group fixtures will take place on:

Match day one: 15/16 September
Match day two: 29/30 September
Match day three: 20/21 October
Match day four: 3/4 November
Match day five: 24/25 November
Match day six: 8/9 December