It’s finally here! Tottenham Hotspur will find out which teams they will play against in the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League group stage, and we’re going to be here to help walk you through it.
The draw will take place in Monaco, and there will be a lot of rigamarole, pomp, and circumstance surrounding it. They’ll likely milk the draft to a full hour’s length. Think this year’s NCAA Tournament Selection Show, but less dumb and without Charles Barkley fighting with technology.
How to Watch:
Date: Thursday, August 25, 2016, 12:00 p.m. ET, 5:00 pm BST
TV: Fox Sports 1 (USA), Fox Deportes (USA - Spanish), Eurosport 1 / BT Sport 2 (UK), beIN Sports (Canada), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: UEFA.com, Fox Sports Go (USA),
There’s a possibility that UEFA will also live stream the draw on YouTube. If that’s the case, we’ll embed the YouTube stream directly into this article.
So who’s in the competition?
Pot 1: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Leicester City, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Benfica, Paris Saint-Germain, CSKA Moscow
Pot 2: Atletico Madrid, BVB Dortmund, Arsenal, Sevilla, Porto, Manchester City, Napoli, Bayer Leverkusen
Pot 3: FC Basel, Tottenham Hotspur, Dinamo Kyiv, Lyon, PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, Club Brugge, Borussia Mönchengladbach
Pot 4: Monaco, Celtic, Ludogorets Razgrad, Legia Warsaw, FC Rostov, Besiktas, FC Copenhagen, Dinamo Zagreb
How does the draw work?
It’s ping-pong balls in glass bowls, essentially. The teams will be drawn into eight groups with four teams in each, one team from each pot. But there are rules.
The teams in Pot 1 will all be drawn first and will be assigned their own groups. You can’t have more than one team from any one European league drawn together into a group, either. So Spurs can’t be drawn into a group stage with Leicester City, Manchester City, or Arsenal, and Barcelona can’t be in a group with Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, or Sevilla. As the draw progresses, there may be restrictions as to which group a team can be placed based on the teams drawn before it.
So who are Tottenham going to draw?
Probably someone super scary. Or possibly TWO super scary teams. In fact, with Spurs mired in Pot 3, there’s significant chance that Tottenham could end up in a Group of Death. Which would be terrifying, but also fun as hell to watch. Because when you’ve fought this hard to get into the Champions League, don’t you WANT to go up against the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, PSG, Dortmund, and Atletico Madrid? But keep in mind, if Tottenham are in a Group of Death, it’s called that in part because Spurs are in it.
In case you missed it, GN_Punk had a nice write-up about Spurs’ draw possibilities here.
You can also simulate your own Champions League draw (minus the heated ping-pong balls) by using this simulator hosted on Github.
So here’s your open thread to talk about the draw and to celebrate/dream/panic about Spurs’ opponents. Enjoy!