Ahead of Thursday's draw for the 2017-18 Champions League group stage, we list out everything Roma fans need to know about the big day...
When is the draw?
The draw takes place on Thursday evening, following the conclusion of the final play-off ties on Wednesday night.
Proceedings are expected to get underway at 18:00 CEST, although expect the actual drawing of sides to happen a little bit later than that…
Where is the draw taking place?
The draw will be hosted at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. UEFA will stream events live on its official website.
Who is doing the draw?
As usual, the draw will be overseen by UEFA – but the actual picking out of the balls will be completed by two greats of Italian football, Francesco Totti and Andriy Shevchenko. Hopefully the former can deliver us a good draw!
How does the draw work?
To put it as simply as possible, the 32 participants in the group stage are divided into four ‘Pots’ of eight sides, based on their UEFA co-efficient (which is calculated based on club performances in Europe over the last five years) or whether they are reigning champions of their respective domestic leagues.
One club from each Pot is then drawn out to complete a group – but clubs from the same country cannot face each other in this round of the competition.
The champions from the eight highest-rated leagues in Europe go into Pot 1, with Pots 2-4 decided by UEFA co-efficients, with the teams with the strongest recent record in Europe going into Pot 2, and so on...
Okay, so where are Roma seeded?
Roma are seeded in Pot 3 of the competition – meaning that, along with domestic rivals Juventus and Napoli, they cannot face these sides: Basel, Anderlecht, Besiktas, Tottenham and Olympiakos.
How do the Pots look?
The finalised seedings will be confirmed in the wake of the end of the play-off ties on Wednesday evening. You can see the predicted Pot arrangements in the table below:
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4|
|Juventus||PSG||FC Basel||NK Maribor|
|Shakhtar||Man City||AS ROMA||Qarabag|
How do the group stages work again?
Teams play each other twice, home and away, for a total of six games - with the top two in the final standings progressing to the knockout rounds of the competition.
The team that finishes third in each group gets the consolation of a place in the first knockout round of the Europa League.
What are the group stage dates?
As usual, the group stage games are split into six matchdays, with games taking place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Matchday 1: September 12-13
Matchday 2: September 26-27
Matchday 3: October 17-18
Matchday 4: October 31-November 1
Matchday 5: November 21-22
Matchday 6: December 5-6
Should Roma progress that far, the draw for the last-16 of the competition will take place on Monday 11 December at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon.
The draw is currently scheduled to get underway at 12:00 CET, with the Europa League draw – of interest to the teams that might finish third in the group – happening an hour later.
Anything else we should know?
Just one thing worth mentioning: the small matter of club director Francesco Totti receiving his President’s Award during the event.
The legendary forward, who retired from the game in May following a sparkling 24-year career, was announced as just the 17th recipient of the award earlier in the summer – and will be handed his prize as he also completes draw duties.