UEFA Champions League 2021/22: The whos, whats, whens, wheres and whys

Who make up the groups? What channel is it on? When are the games? Where is the final? And why have away goals been scrapped? These questions and more are answered in our handy Champions League guide.

The draw for the group stage of the 2021/22 Champions League took place in Istanbul on August 26 and produced the following pools.

In each group, the teams are listed in order of seeding, the first-named team being the top seed and the last-named the team seeded lowest.

Group A - Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Red Bull Leipzig, Club Brugge

Group B - Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Porto, AC Milan

Group C - Sporting Lisbon, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Besiktas

Group D - Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sheriff Tiraspol

Group E - Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Benfica, Dynamo Kiev

Group F - Villarreal, Manchester United, Atalanta, Young Boys

Group G - Lille, Sevilla, Red Bull Salzburg, Wolfsburg

Group H - Chelsea, Juventus, Zenit St Petersburg, Malmo

Champions League match days and fixtures

Manchester City Paris Saint-Germain Champions League May21

Fixture dates for the 2021/22 Champions League are as follows:

Group stage

Matchday 1 - September 14/15

Matchday 2 - September 28/29

Matchday 3 - October 19/20

Matchday 4 - November 2/3

Matchday 5 - November 23/24

Matchday 6 - December 7/8

Knockout stage

Last 16, 1st leg - February 15/16/22/23

Last 16, 2nd legs - March 8/9/15/16

Quarter-finals, 1st legs - April 5/6

Quarter-finals, 2nd legs - April 12/13

Semi-finals, 1st legs - April 26/27

Semi-finals, 2nd legs - May 3/4

Final - May 28

The full fixture list for the English sides is as follows:

Chelsea

Sep 14 - Zenit H (8pm BST)

Sep 29 - Juventus A (8pm)

Oct 20 - Malmo H (8pm)

Nov 2 - Malmo A (5.45pm)

Nov 23 - Juventus H (8pm)

Dec 8 - Zenit A (5.45pm)

Virgil van Dijk Liverpool 2019 Champions League win

Liverpool

Sep 15 - AC Milan H (8pm BST)

Sep 28 - Porto A (8pm)

Oct 19 - Atletico Madrid A (8pm)

Nov 3 - Atletico Madrid H (8pm)

Nov 24 - Porto H (8pm)

Dec 7 - AC Milan A (8pm)

Manchester City

Sep 15 - RB Leipzig H (8pm BST)

Sep 28 - PSG A (8pm)

Oct 19 - Brugge A (5.45pm)

Nov 3 - Brugge H (8pm)

Nov 24 - PSG H (8pm)

Dec 7 - RB Leipzig A (5.45pm)

Manchester United

Sep 14 - Young Boys A (5.45pm)

Sep 29 - Villarreal H (8pm)

Oct 20 - Atalanta H (8pm)

Nov 2 - Atalanta A (8pm)

Nov 23 - Villarreal A (5.45pm)

Dec 8 - Young Boys H (8pm)

The complete list of Champions League group-stage fixtures can be found by clicking here.

Where will the 2021/22 Champions League final take place?

Gazprom Arena Russia Aug21

The Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg, Russia, is due to host the 2022 Champions League final on Saturday, May 28.

The following three finals already have venues too. Europe's showpiece game will take place in Istanbul in 2023, at London's Wembley Stadium in 2024 and in Munich in 2025.

What has happened to the away-goals rule?

The Champions League - like the other UEFA-led European club competitions - has ditched the away-goals rule for the 2021/22 campaign.

Knockout ties which end all square after two legs will therefore go to extra time regardless of the number of away goals scored by each side. If still level after the additional 30 minutes, a penalty shoot-out will decide the outcome.

Explaining the decision, made in June, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: "The impact of the rule now runs counter to its original purpose as, in fact, it now dissuades home teams - especially in first legs - from attacking, because they fear conceding a goal that would give their opponents a crucial advantage.

"There is also criticism of the unfairness, especially in extra time, of obliging the home team to score twice when the away team has scored."

Who is in the Champions League squad for each team?

Reece James Kepa Arrizabalaga Chelsea Super Cup Aug21

Each team in the group stage had to confirm a Champions League squad to UEFA on September 2 following the closure of the summer transfer window.

The English clubs' squads are as follows:

Chelsea

Goalkeepers: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcus Bettinelli, Edouard Mendy, Lucas Bergstrom

Defenders: Marcos Alonso, Cesar Azpilicueta, Trevoh Chalobah, Ben Chilwell, Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva, Reece James, Antonio Rudiger, Malang Sarr

Midfielders: Lewis Baker, Ross Barkley, Jorginho, Kai Havertz, N'Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount, Saul Niguez, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Harvey Vale

Forwards: Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner

Liverpool

Goalkeepers: Alisson Becker, Adrian, Caoimhin Kelleher

Defenders: Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez, Kostas Tsimikas, Andy Robertson, Joel Matip, Nathaniel Phillips, Trent Alexander-Arnold

Midfielders: Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara, James Milner, Naby Keita, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Forwards: Mohamed Salah, Takumi Minamino, Diogo Jota, Divock Origi, Harvey Elliott

Pep Guardiola Champions League final disappointment May 21

Manchester City

Goalkeepers: Zack Steffen, Ederson, Scott Carson

Defenders: Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, John Stones, Nathan Ake, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Aymeric Laporte, Joao Cancelo

Midfielders: Ilkay Gundogan, Jack Grealish, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden, Romeo Lavia

Forwards: Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Ferran Torres

Manchester United

Goalkeepers: David de Gea, Tom Heaton, Dean Henderson

Defenders: Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw, Alex Telles, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Amad Diallo, Fred, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani

Squads of the other clubs taking part in the group stage can be found on UEFA's official website by clicking here.

Each team who qualify for the last 16 will be able to add up to three new players to their squad ahead of the knockout phase.

When is the draw for the Champions League last 16?

Bruno Fernandes Manchester United

The draw for the round of 16 of the 2021/22 Champions League will take place in Nyon, Switzerland, at 11am BST on Monday, December 13.

The eight group winners will be drawn against the eight group runners-up. The group winners will play the first leg away from home.

Teams from the same country cannot face each other at the last-16 stage and neither can teams who met in the group phase.

When is the draw for the Champions League quarter-finals and semi-finals?

The draw for both the quarter-finals and semi-finals has been scheduled for Friday March 18, again in Nyon at 11am BST.

This a completely free draw with no restrictions on who can face who.

Therefore two teams from the same country can be drawn against each other in the quarter-finals.

Which TV channel can I watch the Champions League on?

Jake Humphrey BT Sport Chelsea Oct20

BT Sport will continue to be the place to watch Champions League soccer on TV in the UK.

This season is the first in a new three-year, $1.2billion deal, due to expire at the end of the 2023/24 campaign. The contract also includes rights to the Europa League and new Europa Conference League.

The subscription channel is again expected to make the final available for free (as required by UK law) on its YouTube channel.

One difference to this year's coverage is the lead presenter - Gary Lineker has stepped down from his role so Jake Humphrey is expected to feature more often.

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