The 2021/22 Champions League is officially underway with qualifying round fixtures having taken place over the past couple of weeks. Group stage matches are scheduled to begin midway through September and so we thought it would be a good time to take a look at the main competition and which teams are being tipped for success.
When Does The Champions League Take Place?
Qualifying round fixtures are already underway with the playoffs currently taking place. The main draw for the group stages will be made on Thursday 26th August and groups matches will start from the 14th September.
A full schedule can be found below.
14/15 September: Group stage, Matchday 1
28/29 September: Group stage, Matchday 2
19/20 October: Group stage, Matchday 3
2/3 November: Group stage, Matchday 4
23/24 November: Group stage, Matchday 5
7/8 December: Group stage, Matchday 6
13 December: Round of 16 draw
15/16/22/23 February: Round of 16, first legs
8/9/15/16 March: Round of 16, second legs
18 March: Quarter-final & Semi-final draw
5/6 April: Quarter-finals, first legs
12/13 April: Quarter-finals, second legs
26/27 April: Semi-finals, first legs
3/4 May: Semi-finals, second legs
28 May: Final – Saint Petersburg Stadium
How Does The Champions League Draw Work?
A total of 32 teams will compete in the tournament with 26 of them already having been confirmed, including the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea. The remaining 6 teams will earn a sport via the qualifying rounds route.
The draw will take place in Istanbul, Turkey on Thursday with the 32 teams being split into four seeding pots. Pot 1 will feature the current Champions, the current Europa League champions and the champions of the six highest-ranked nations. The draw will assign four teams into eight separate groups.
Champions League Pots
Below is a list of teams that are confirmed in each pot. Teams gaining a place via the qualifying rounds will be added to the pots with spare places once they have been decided.
- Bayern Munich
- Manchester City
- Atletico Madrid
- Inter Milan
- Sporting Lisbon
- Manchester United
- Real Madrid
- Paris Saint-Germain
- Borussia Dortmund
- RB Leipzig
- Zenit St Petersburg
- Club Brugge
- Young Boys
- AC Milan
Who Are The Favourites To Win The Champions League?
Many of us will be having a flutter on the winner of this season’s Champions League. There are some great tips available over at soccertipster.org on the bookies favourites which we’ve listed below, and also on some outsiders that have potential to do well.
PSG – 3/1
With the arrival of Lionel Messi to the club from Barcelona, the odds on PSG to win both domestic and European competitions have been slashed. They’re the bookie’s favourites at odds of 3/1 to lift the trophy which are a little too short in our opinion given the quality of the teams they will have to face on the route to the final.
Manchester City – 4/1
City are always going to be up there as one of the favourites given the quality and depth in their squad.
Pep Guardiola’s side made it to the final last year only to lose 1-0 to fellow Premier League side Chelsea and will be looking to go one step further this time around and lift the Champions League trophy for the first time in the club’s history.
Bayern Munich – 8/1
Bayern have always played a prominent role in this competition and went all the way in 2020 by beating PSG in the final. They’ve lifted the trophy a total of 6 times and will be hoping to add to that tally this year. They certainly have the players and the ability to beat the best of teams but will have to play to their maximum potential throughout the tournament.
Chelsea – 9/1
The current champions will be looking to retain their title this year and the arrival of Romalu Lukaka will surely boost their chances of doing so.
The London side have improved under Tuchel and they stand a good chance of having a good run in this year’s competition.
Liverpool – 10/1
The 2018/19 UEFA Champions League winners were knocked out in the last 16 by Atletico Madrid in 2020 and in the quarter-finals last year by Real Madrid. Klopp’s side certainly have the ability to go all the way in the tournament but they will have to keep their players fit as there are some concerns about depth in their squad.
Manchester United are currently priced at 17/1 to win their first Champions League since 1999. Although possible, they’re unlikely to see off several of the top teams along the way and their price reflects that.
The departure of Lionel Messi from Barcelona, along with several other players, have resulted in bookies offering odds of 22/1 for them to win the 2022 Champions League. It’s not often you see odds that high on Barca to do well in Europe but there are big concerns around the future of the club and the squad that they will have throughout the current season.
When Is The Champions League Final?
The 2021/22 Champions League Final is set to take place on Saturday 28th May 2022. It will be played at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, which is the home ground of Russian team, FC Zenit Saint Petersburg.