Where will FCB's Champions League journey begin?

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Passports at the ready because it’s been 121 days since Bayern were unfortunately knocked out in the semi-final of the Champions League by Real Madrid, but it’s almost time to return to the European stage. The eyes of everyone at FCB, and at 31 other teams around Europe, will turn to Grimaldi Forum in Monaco on Thursday evening for the draw of this season’s group stage at 18:00 CEST.

Fans, club representatives and players alike will then discover where the journey to the final at the Estadio Metropolitano in Madrid on 1 June will begin. As German champions, Bayern are in Pot 1. Those clubs that don’t qualify automatically qualify for Pot 1 are placed in the remaining three pots based on their UEFA coefficient, which is based on their performances in UEFA competitions over the previous five years.

As well as familiar faces such as Manchester United, Porto or AS Roma, there are also a few places that the 2013 winners haven't been too for a number of years. That includes the Johann Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam or Liverpool’s Anfield. There could also be first encounters with Monaco or Champions League newcomers Young Boys Bern.

Each of the eight groups will be allocated one team from each pot, while clubs from the same country cannot be pair together. It means Bayern cannot be drawn in the same group as Borussia Dortmund, Schalke or Hoffenheim. The first round of group matches begins on 18/19 September, and on Thursday we’ll find out who that’s against.

The group stage pots

Pot 1Pot 2Pot 3Pot 4
Real MadridBorussia DortmundLiverpoolRed Star Belgrade
Atletico MadridFC PortoSchalkeViktoria Plzen
BarcelonaManchester UnitedLyonClub Brugge
Manchester CityShakhtar DonetskAS MonacoGalatasaray
Juventus NapoliAjax Young Boys Bern
FC BayernTottenham HotspurCKSA MoscowInter Milan
Paris Saint GermainAS RomaPSV EindhovenHoffenheim
Lokomotiv MoscowBenficaValenciaAEK Athens

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