Chelsea’s quest for another Champions League crown begins on Thursday when we discover our group stage opponents for the 68th edition of Europe’s elite competition.
The road to Istanbul will look a little clearer later this week when our three opponents for the group stage are confirmed just 12 days prior to the competition getting underway.
Here, we take a comprehensive look at everything you need to know ahead of the draw…
When is the Champions League draw?
The draw for the 2022/23 Champions League group stage takes place on Thursday 25 August in Istanbul, Turkey from 5pm UK time.
When will the Champions League group stage fixtures be announced?
The dates and kick-off times for our six group stage fixtures will be released by 11am on Saturday 27 August.
When are the Champions League group stage rounds scheduled for?
All six group fixtures will be played over an eight-week period this autumn due to the mid-season scheduling of the FIFA World Cup. The first two games will take place before the September international break, with the remaining four over five weeks in October and early November.
Matchday 1: 6/7 September
Matchday 2: 13/14 September
Matchday 3: 4/5 October
Matchday 4: 11/12 October
Matchday 5: 25/26 October
Matchday 6: 1/2 November
Which Champions League seeding pot are Chelsea in?
The Blues are second seeds this year in Pot 2 alongside fellow Premier League sides Liverpool and Tottenham. Pot 1 comprises the Champions League holders (Real Madrid), the UEFA Europa League winners (Eintracht Frankfurt) and the champions of the six highest-ranked nations who did not qualify via one of the 2021/22 titles.
The rest of the teams are seeded based on their UEFA club coefficients. The full pot picture will be clear after the play-offs are completed this week and we will have a comprehensive guide on who Thomas Tuchel’s side could be pitted alongside on the morning of the draw.
How many teams are in the Champions League?
A total of 32 teams compete in the Champions League group stage, 26 qualifying via their 2021/22 league position in domestic competition and a further six coming through the play-off round.
The 32 teams are drawn into eight groups of four for the group stage and play each other both at home and away, with the top two advancing to the round of 16. Teams cannot face another side from their national association in the group stage.
What are the round dates for the rest of the competition?
The round of 16 draw is scheduled to take place on Monday 7 November, with the knockout stage itself getting underway in mid-February. The quarter-finals will take place on consecutive midweeks in April, while the semi-finals will do the same in early May.
The 2023 Champions League final takes place on Saturday 10 June at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul. The city was due to host the showpiece in each of the past two editions but the final had to be relocated because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Where can you watch the Champions League draw?
The draw will be broadcast live on BT Sport and UEFA’s website from 5pm. We will also have the latest information right here on the official Chelsea website, as well as the 5th Stand app and on our social channels.
What about the UEFA Youth League?
Our Under-19s will be back in European action this season, led by Ed Brand from the dugout, and will mirror the senior side’s group stage fixtures in the autumn.
UEFA Youth League group winners head straight to the last-16, while runners-up face a one-legged away play-off against a side from the Domestic Champions pathway. The four-team final tournament is held as usual in Nyon, Switzerland between 21 and 24 April. Our young Blues were beaten by Genk in the play-off round last term.