After a summer full of exciting football action, the focus will soon shift to the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League.
The biggest clubs across the top European leagues are set to compete for the top continental prize and they'll start their journey with the group stage, the draw for which will be held on August 31, 2023.
European heavyweights like Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Barcelona will all be looking forward to the draw and will be keen to know their group stage opponents. Newbies Newcastle United, Lens, and Union Berlin will also be relishing their European adventure after booking their spots last season.
A total of 32 teams from four pots of eight will be drawn into a total of eight groups of four teams each at the Champions League draw event.
GOAL has everything you need to know about Champions League seeding for the group stage draw below.
When is the Champions League 2023-24 group stage draw?
August 31, 2023
5 pm BST / 12 noon ET
Grimaldi Forum, Monaco
The Champions League 2022-23 group stage draw will take place on Thursday, August 31, 2023, one day after the preliminary round of Champions League qualifying is scheduled to finish.
It is scheduled to begin at approximately 5pm BST (12 noon ET).
Which teams will be involved in the Champions League 2023-24 group stage?
As alluded to above, the Champions League 2023-24 group stage will feature a total of 32 football teams. Twenty-six clubs are given direct entry into the draw. Six more clubs will join them following the qualifiers.
Qualified teams are divided into four pots: Pot 1 contains the title holders, the Europa League winners and the champions of the top six national leagues based on UEFA country coefficients. The remaining three pots are populated according to a team's UEFA club coefficient.
The 32 teams are seeded into four pots and then picked randomly in eight different groups. Two teams from the same football association cannot be drawn into the same group in the draw.
Champions League 2023-24 group stage draw seeding pots
UEFA have already announced the seedings for the 2023/24 Champions League group stage draw, with most qualified teams finding out which pot they have been placed in ahead of next season's edition.
Following their 1-0 win in the final against Inter Milan, Manchester City have been placed in Pot 1 as titleholders, alongside Europa League winners Sevilla. The rest of the top pot consists of the champions from Europe's top six leagues according to UEFA coefficient, though Dutch champions Feyenoord, who come from a seventh-placed association, are also promoted to Pot 1 due to Manchester City's triumph in the Premier League as well.
The second pot is particularly intriguing, as it features five teams who have previously won the Champions League. It includes 14-time winners Real Madrid and two three-time winners in Manchester United and Inter. The remaining pots are comprised of teams based on UEFA's coefficient score, with Pot 3 featuring two Italian giants in AC Milan and Lazio, while PSV, Braga, and FC Copenhagen have booked their tickets for the draw by winning their respective qualification playoff ties.
Pot 4 is full of surprise package teams, including Newcastle United, who secured a fairytale return to Europe's premier club competition after an outstanding 2022/23 campaign under Eddie Howe. The Magpies have been joined in the pot by Real Sociedad, Union Berlin and Lens. Reigning Scottish champions Celtic have also been placed in the final pot due to their lack of Champions League experience, while Young Boys, Galatasaray, and Antwerp have booked their spots after playoff wins.
Red Star Belgrade
How can I watch the Champions League group stage draw?
The Champions League 2023-24 group stage draw can be streamed live on the UEFA official website.
The 2023-24 Champions League group stage draw is shaping up to be a very exciting one. There are a number of top teams vying for a place in the competition and the group stage will be a great opportunity for these teams to show their skills and compete for the trophy.
The group stage kicks off on September 19. This season's Champions League final will be held at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday, June 1.