By News Team
Last Updated: 8th September 2021
As the Champions League action heats up, we’ve taken a look at all you need to know – from the important Champions League dates on the calendar, to the Champions League fixtures, to which teams are the favourites.
Read on below to find out more, including on the latest football betting odds.
What are the Champions League 2021-22 matchday & draw dates?
The 67th season of Europe’s elite club competition is the 30th since it was rebranded, with Champions League matches running from 22 June 2021 to 28 May 2022.
The knockout stage of the Champions League kicks off on September 14 with the last 16 games taking place in February and March 2022, with the draw being held on December 13.
After that, the draw for the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final (to decide the ‘home team’) will be held on March 18, with those games set to be played across April and May.
|Phase||Draw date||Game dates|
|Preliminary Round||June 8, 2021||June 22-25|
|First qualifying round||June 15, 2021||July 6-7, 13-14|
|Second qualifying round||June 16, 2021||July 20-21, 27-28|
|Third qualifying round||July 19, 2021||August 3-4, 10|
|Play-off||August 2, 2021||August 17-18, 24-25|
|Group stage||August 26, 2021||September 14 – December 8|
|Last 16||December 13, 2021||February 15-16, 22-23 & March 8-9, 15-16|
|Quarter-final||March 18, 2022||April 5-6, 12-13|
|Semi-final||March 18, 2022||April 26-27 & May 3-4|
|Final||March 19, 2022||May 28 2022|
What are the Champions League groups?
In Group A, Manchester City are placed with Paris Saint-Germain in what looks to be a definite fight for top spot and an intriguing affair as Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi reunite. RB Leipzig and Club Brugge comprise the rest of the group.
In Group B, Liverpool are facing a tough test to progress to the next stage of the competition, having been drawn against Atlético Madrid, Porto and AC Milan in a tricky looking pool.
The competition within Group C certainly also won’t be lacking with the four teams being Sporting Lisbon, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax and Besiktas.
It looks to be another shootout between two top sides for top spot in Group D as Real Madrid and Inter Milan go head-to-head. Shakhtar Donetsk and Sheriff Tiraspol will also be looking to progress.
Group E looks to be a similar story, with heavyweights Barcelona and Bayern Munich the star attractions. Benfica and Dynamo Kiev ensure it will be a tough test all round, however.
In Group F, Manchester United will fancy their chances of progressing to the next stage, having been handed a kinder draw than their English counterparts. They will face Villarreal, Atalanta and Young Boys.
Group G, meanwhile, could be an open one with Lille, Sevilla, Salzburg and Wolfsburg all grouped together.
The reigning Champions League winners Chelsea may be battling it out for top spot in Group H against Juventus (even without Cristiano Ronaldo), while Zenit Saint Petersburg and Malmo will also hope to challenge.
When are the Champions League group stage fixtures?
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
When and where will be the 2022 Champions League final?
The 2021-22 Champions League final will take place in Saint Petersburg at Krestovsky Stadium – which was also one of the 12 host venues at European Championship 2020 and serves as home for Zenit Saint Petersburg.
The match will also be the third UEFA final to be held in Russia, and the first to take place outside Moscow, which previously hosted Champions League football with the 2008 Champions League Final between Manchester United and Chelsea, as well as the 1999 Cup Final between Parma and Marseille; both matches were played at the Luzhniki Stadium.
What are the latest Champions League odds?
After the group draw was revealed, PSG overtook Manchester City as favourites to win the competition, with odds of 3/1. This is after Mauricio Pochettino made a big splash in the summer transfer window, signing a whole host of superstars including Messi, Sergio Ramos and European Championship 2020 Player Of The Tournament Gianluigi Donnarumma.
After missing out on the trophy in last season’s final, Pep Guardiola’s team are the second favourites among the Champions League teams to secure a first European title at 7/2 this time around.
Meanwhile, reigning champions Chelsea are joint-third favourites to win the tournament with odds of 8/1, alongside Bayern Munich. Bayern experienced a frustrating season last term as the six-time champions could only reach the quarter-finals. New manager Julian Nagelsmann hopes to become the fourth German manager in a row to lift the trophy.
Manchester United and Liverpool wrap up the top six with odds of 9/1 and 10/1 respectively, as four of the six top spots are taken by English teams. United will hope Ronaldo can work his Champions League magic on them, while Liverpool will believe a new resurgence under Jurgen Klopp can give them the confidence to win the trophy again.