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UEFA Champions League

Explained: How Champions League schedule is affected by World Cup 2022

6:28 PM WAT 05/09/2022
Champions League trophy World Cup trophy
The winter World Cup has forced UEFA to rejig the dates of the Champions League group stages

World Cup 2022 is set to kick off on November 20, with the final taking place almost a month later on December 18. In order to ensure there is no clash with the Champions League, European football's governing body UEFA has made changes to its usual schedule.

For the first time in history FIFA's marquee international tournament will take place midway through a European campaign, rather than after, in the usual June-July window.

So, how has UEFA rearranged the schedule, what does the path to that iconic venue in Turkey look like and when will each stage of the tournament take place? GOAL has all of the information that you need to know right here.

What are the changes in the group stage schedule of the 2022-23 Champions League?

The draw for the UEFA Champions League group stage took place on August 25 and the first group stage fixtures will kick off on September 6/7 - a week earlier than usual. In the 2021-22 season, the first matchday was on September 15.

The second matchday will take place a week later on September 13/14, while in October, each team will play three times. The third group stage round of fixtures has been scheduled on October 4/5, the fourth a week later on October 11/12, and the fifth on October 25/26. The final matchday will be played on November 1/2.

The group stages will be wrapped up more than a month earlier than usual and well before the players head out for international duty. In the previous campaign the final matchday was played on December 7/8.

The Round of 16 draw will take place on November 7.

Matchday

2021/22

2022/23

Matchday 1

September 14/15

September 6/7

Matchday 2

September 28/29

September 13/14

Matchday 3

October 19/20

October 4/5

Matchday 4

November 2/3

October 11/12

Matchday 5

November 23/24

October 25/26

Matchday 6

December 7/8

November 1/2

What are the changes in the knockout stage schedule of the 2022-23 Champions League?

After the completion of the group stage, the Champions League will take a customary mid-season break and will return to action with the Round of 16 matches in mid-February (14/21) with the return legs scheduled to take place on March 7 and 14. No significant changes have been made in the schedule at this stage of the competition.

However, the quarter-finals have been postponed by a week. The first leg will be played on April 11/12 and the subsequent fixture on April 18/19.

The semi-finals have also been pushed back by almost two weeks later than the usual schedule. The first leg fixture is slated to take place on May 9/10 and the return leg will be played on May 16/17.

Matchday

2021-22

2022-23

Last 16 (First Leg)

February 15/16, 22/23

February 14/15, 21/22

Last 16 (Second Leg)

March 8/9, 15/16

March 7/8, 14/15

Quarter-finals (First Leg)

April 5/6

April 11/12

Quarter-finals (Second Leg)

April 12/13

April 18/19

Semi-finals (First Leg)

April 26/27

May 9/10

Semi-finals (Second Leg)

May 3/4

May 16/17

When is the UEFA Men's Champions League final?

In 2021-22, the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool kicked off on May 28, while the previous year, when Chelsea overcame Manchester City in the decider, the match was played on May 29.

This year, the biggest match in European club football has been delayed by almost two weeks as the match will now kick-off on June 10 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium.

It will be the second time the final will be played in the stadium, having previously played host to the iconic final between AC Milan and Liverpool in 2005.