Champions League draw

5:00: To top off proceedings, Cristiano Ronaldo has pipped Arjen Robben and Manuel Neuer to the Uefa Best Player in Europe Award. Hard to argue with that, now. That brings an end to our coverage of the Champions League group stage draw. Thanks for stopping by.

5:52: Liverpool will be wary of the challenge posed by Basel in Group B. The Swiss champions beat Chelsea home and away in this competition last season, knocked Manchester United out of the group stages in 2011 and dismissed Tottenham in the quarter finals of the Europa League in 2012. They are entering this competition without their most potent weapon in Mohamed Salah, but their record against English opposition speaks for itself.

5:50: Bayern Munich and Roma. Will Manchester City ever catch a break in this competition? Liverpool avoided one of Pot B's giants but were drawn alongside defending champions Real Madrid while Arsenal will renew battle with Borussia Dortmund with Galatasaray for company.

Chelsea will undoubtedly be the happiest bunch this evening. They have Schalke, who they beat 6-0 over two games last season, Sporting Lisbon and NK Maribor.


Group A: Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Olympiakos, Malmo FF

Group B: Real Madrid, Basel, LIVERPOOL, Ludogorets

Group C: Benfica, Zenit, Bayer Leverkusen, Monaco

Group D: ARSENAL, Borussia Dortmund, Galatasaray, Anderlecht

Group E: Bayern Munich, MANCHESTER CITY, CSKA Moscow, Roma

Group F: Barcelona, Paris Saint Germain, Ajax, APEOL

Group G: CHELSEA, Schalke, Sporting Lisbon, NK Maribor

Group H: FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Athletic Bilbao, BATE Borisov

AS Roma join Bayern Munich, Manchester City, CSKA Moscow in Group E

BATE Borisov join Porto, Shakhtar, Athletic Bilbao in Group H

NK Maribor join Chelsea, Schalke, Sporting in Group G

Anderlecht join Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Galatasaray in Group D

Malmo FF join Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Olympiakos in Group A

APEOL join Barcelona, PSG, Ajax in Group F

Monaco join Benfica, Zenit, Bayer Leverkusen in Group C

Ludogorets join Real Madrid, Basel, Liverpool in Group B

5:30: Liverpool have been drawn in Group B alongside Basel and Real Madrid.

Group A: Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Olympiakos

Group B: Real Madrid, Basel, Liverpool

Group C: Benfica, Zenit, Bayer Leverkusen

Group D: Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Galatasaray

Group E: Bayern Munich, Manchester City, CSKA Moscow

Group F: Barcelona, PSG, Ajax

Group G: Chelsea, Schalke, Sporting

Group H: Porto, Shakhtar, Athletic Bilbao


Sporting Lisbon join Schalke and Chelsea in Group G

Galatasaray join Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund in Group D

Bayer Leverkusen join Zenit and Benfica in Group C

Ajax join Paris Saint Germain and Barcelona in Group F

Olympiakos join Juventus and Atletico Madrid in Group A

Liverpool join Real Madrid and Basel in Group B

CSKA Moscow join Manchester City and Bayern Munich in Group E

Athletic Bilbao join Shakhtar Donetsk and Porto in Group H

5:22: A few repeats from recent years in these groups already, Chelsea once again find themselves alongside Schalke while Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund will renew their rivalry. Bayern Munich and Manchester City will clash again after being drawn in the same group last year, with the Premier League side claiming a memorable, but ultimately fruitless win at the Allianz Arena.

Schalke join Chelsea in Group G

Juventus join Atletico Madrid in Group A

FC Basel join Real Madrid in Group B

Borussia Dortmund join Arsenal in Group D

Manchester City join Bayern Munich in Group E

Shakhtar Donetsk join Porto in Group H

Paris Saint Germain join Barcelona in Group F

Zenit St Petersburg join Benfica in Group C

5:10: So, Pot 1 has been drawn, what does that mean for the teams involved? Not much. The draw for Pot 2 coming up (hopefully) very shortly.

Chelsea drawn into Group G

Atletico Madrid drawn into Group A

Porto drawn into Group H

Barcelona drawn into Group F

Arsenal drawn into Group D

Benfica drawn into Group C

Real Madrid drawn into Group B

Bayern Munich drawn into Group E

5:05: And we are getting started! Iker Casillas doing the honours on ball duty.

5:01: Master of ceremonies and UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino is currently waxing lyrical on stage.

4:55: Iker Casillas has hauled out the famous old trophy and plonked it down centre stage. A load of familiar faces dotted around the crowd as you would expect, many who look a bit bored already. No word on who will be taking up the responsibility of unscrewing the balls during the draw itself. Not many will carry out the job with the style and panache of Luis Figo, however.

4:51: Cristiano Ronaldo, Arjen Robben and Manuel Neuer are sat in attendance, adequately suited and booted. The trio are in contention for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award that will be announced at some point over the next hour or four.

4:43: The prospect of Luis Suarez returning to Anfield as a Barcelona player seems destined to happen, should it be in the group stages of the knock out phase. The Uruguayan international will miss his side's first three fixtures in this competition however as he serves the remainder of his four month ban.

4:38: Watching as a neutral this year? Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool and AS Roma looks to be the most tantalising combination out there.

4:30: Arsenal and Chelsea's presence in Pot 1 bodes well for both clubs, but should the Uefa gods not look favourably one on them this afternoon a group consisting of PSG, Bayer Leverkusen and Rudi Garcia's Roma await.

4:25: Manchester City's recent emergence in this competition has seen them handed tough draws, which goes some way in explaining why they have yet to qualify for the knock out stages of the tournament. A worst case scenario for them this afternoon would see them group with Real Madrid once again, along with Dutch champions Ajax and big spenders Monaco. FC Porto, Olympiakos and Malmo lie on the other side of the coin.

4:20: Liverpool's celebrated return to the big time has been met with some trepidation given the possible scenarios facing Brendan Rodgers' side in the group stages. Their place in the third pot could see them drawn alongside defending champions Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain and Roma. Of course a more favourable draw could see them placed with FC Porto, FC Basel and Malmo.

4:12: Tuesday and Wednesday saw the final 10 teams secure their place in today's draw. Napoli and Celtic were the biggest causalities after losing over two legs to Athletic Bilbao and NK Maribor respectively. Arsenal narrowly defeated Besiktas 1-0 on aggregate despite being reduced to 10 men in both ties while Ludogorets Razgrad sealed their place after a stunning penalty shootout with over Steaua Bucharest, where defender Cosmin Moti saved two penalties after standing in for their red carded goalkeeper.

4:06: As is the case every year, the 32 teams qualified for this year's competition have been separated into the four pots below based on their Uefa coefficient. Which pot a team find themselves in is determined by their success during the last five years of European competition, which explains why Liverpool and Roma – despite finishing as runners up in their respective leagues last term – find themselves in pot three and four after failing to qualify for seasons before.

No two teams from the same country or pot can be drawn against each other and the draw will be complete once all 32 teams have been placed in a group lettered A to H.

4:02: First things first, here are the pots determined by each side's Uefa coefficient.

Pot One: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Benfica, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, FC Porto

Pot Two: Schalke, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Shakhtar Donetsk, FC Basel, Zenit St Petersburg, Manchester City

Pot Three: Bayer Leverkusen, Olympiakos, CSKA Moscow, Ajax, Liverpool, Sporting Lisbon, Galatasaray, Athletic Bilbao

Pot Four: Anderlecht, AS Roma, Ludogorets, APOEL, BATE Borisov, Maribor, AS Monaco, Malmo

4:00: The excruciatingly drawn out process of the Uefa Champions League group stage draw is almost upon us once again! This year's instalment of the greatest club competition is marked by one or two noticeable absentees, but supplemented by the returns of a few others ready to threaten the continent's status quo. The draw is scheduled to commence at Uefa's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland in 45 minutes, but stick with us until then as we consider the best and worst possibilities for the four Premier League clubs waiting to learn their European fate.