For the first time since 2015, Chelsea are contesting consecutive seasons in the Champions League. No more yo-yoing between that and the Europa League, hopefully!
But of course if we fail to finish in the top of the group, we could be back in the secondary competition in the second half of the year, so there’s work to do.
In today’s draw, Chelsea were seeded in Pot 2, alongside two other English teams. The draw itself was conducted amid slightly less of the usual accoutrements thanks to the pandemic, so we didn’t have to wait too long to get to the part with the ball swirling, conducted by none other than UEFA President’s Award winner Didier Drogba and good pal Florent Malouda (FloMo!)
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin on Didier Drogba:— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) October 1, 2020
“We all know he’s one of the best forwards of all time, we all enjoyed him scoring... well not all, we have many Bayern players here tonight.”
Chelsea were second out of the Pot 2 bowl, and were placed into Group E that already contained Sevilla, Then, we were joined by FC Krasnodar from Pot 3 and Stade Rennais from Pot 4.
So, not a bad draw at all on paper. Sevilla, the current Europa League champions are strong, while Krasnodar are far away in the South Caucasus region of Russia, and Edouard Mendy’s old Rennes are currently leading the French league, but surely we should be expecting Chelsea to qualify from this group and perhaps with games to spare, even.
The exact order and timing (Tuesday or Wednesday) of the fixtures will be determined shortly, but we do know the match-day schedule already. The first game is just three weeks away, after which we will run through these much quicker than usual (the group stage itself is about a month shorter than normal, so there are matches in consecutive midweeks, even).
Southampton (H) | CL MD1 (Oct 20-21) | Man Utd (A)
Man Utd (A) | CL MD2 (Oct 27-28) | Burnley (A)
Burnley (A) | CL MD3 (Nov 3-4) | Sheffield Utd (H)
Newcastle (A) | CL MD4 (Nov 24-25) | Spurs (H)
Spurs (H) | CL MD5 (Dec 1-2) | Leeds (H)
Leeds (H) | CL MD6 (Dec 8-9) | Everton (A)
The full results of the 2020-21 Champions League group stage draw, including the Group H Group of Death is as follows:
Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, RB Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moscow
Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan, Borussia Monchengladbach
FC Porto, Manchester City, Olympiacos, Marseille
Liverpool, Ajax Amsterdam, Atalanta, FC Midtjylland
Sevilla, CHELSEA, Krasnodar, Rennes
Zenit St Petersburg, Borussia Dortmund, Lazio, Club Brugge
Juventus, Barcelona, Dynamo Kiev, Ferencvaros
PSG, Manchester United, RB Leipzig, Istanbul Basaksehir