When and where: The group stage for this season's Uefa Champions League will be revealed at 11.45 a.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by the Fox Soccer Channel, with a live stream available via a free subscription to FoxSoccer2Go.
Preview: All eyes will be on the principality of Monaco on Thursday as the draw is made for the group stage of this season's Uefa Champions League. While the big European sides can traditionally expect to progress to the knockout stages with something to spare, as Manchester United discovered last season, nothing can be taken for granted.
Each of the eight groups will feature one team from each of the four pots. The pots are seeded based on Uefa's coefficient system--essentially their record in recent Uefa competitions. The only other permutation is that teams from the same country cannot be drawn together.
The majority of the expected challengers for the trophy are thus located in pot 1. But the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester united and Arsenal will be eager to avoid some potential banana skins located in the lower pots.
There is little doubt that the team from pot 2 that no team wants to see come into their group is Manchester City. The Premier League champions could well be serious contenders for the Champions League this season, but their limited record in Europe of late means that they find themselves with a lower seeding.
Indeed, there is the potential for a "group of death" with big-spenders Paris Saint-Germain and Italian champions Juventus down in pot 3. In the final pot, the team that surely every club will want to avoid is exciting, young Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund.
Celtic are also in the fourth pot having made the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in four years after beating Helsingborgs in the play-off round.
The four teams in each group play each other home and away, with the first match day taking place on September 18. The top two sides from each group then progress to the knockout phase.
The festivities in Monaco will also see the vote for the Uefa Best Player Award. Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta will be competing for journalists' votes.