The UEFA Champions League is back and it feels like there’s more anticipation than ever around this edition with some standout group matchups and major pressure for several clubs to win it all, including the new teams that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo now call home.
You know you have a compelling group stage when Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich, Liverpool vs. AC Milan and Inter Milan vs. Real Madrid are three of the matchups on the opening day. All eyes will also be on big spenders Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain which are both desperate to win the trophy to justify their investments. And they happen to be in the same group! One or two group-stage missteps could prove costly for either one.
And then there’s defending Champions League holders Chelsea, which is proving to be a veritable steamroller with the return of Romelu Lukaku. Manchester United also has serious expectations to hoist the Champions League again now that scoring machine Cristiano Ronaldo is back in the fold. So the English clubs, including Liverpool in that group, once again look the most likely to win it all, with PSG, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid being the most realistic challengers, though the Italian sides always have the potential of making a surprise run.
MORE: All 32 teams in the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League
The schedule for Matchday 1, including TV and streaming information, follows below. Ronaldo’s Manchester United gets the group stage underway on Tuesday, Sept. 14.
How to watch the UEFA Champions League
The 2021-22 UEFA Champions League will be carried in the United States by CBS (English) and Univision (Spanish) across a number of TV and streaming platforms.
- Dates: 29 matchdays from Sept. 2021-May 2022
- TV Channels: CBS, CBS Sports Network-CBSSN (select matches only)
- Spanish-language TV: Univision, TUDN, UniMas, Galavision, TUDNxtra (TUDNxtra available through select cable, satellite & streaming providers)
- Streaming (English): Paramount+
- Streaming (Spanish): fuboTV, TUDN.tv, TUDN app (authenticated users)
CBS Sports will have live pregame, halftime and postgame studio show (UEFA Champions League Today) which will air on CBS Sports Network and stream on Paramount+. Also back this year is the RedZone-like whiparound show called “The Golazo Show”, also on CBS Sports Network and Paramount+, with all the goals and best chances from the concurrent matches.
Univision will mirror that coverage with its own pregame show (Fútbol Central) and postgame show (Misión Europa). Its whip-around show is called “Zona Fútbol”.
Every Champions League match is available to be streamed on fuboTV, which offers a free seven-day trial to new subscribers. The streaming platform carries all the Univision family of channels: Univision, TUDN, UniMas, Galavision and TUDNxtra.
Champions League schedule: Group stage, Matchday 1
Home teams listed first
Tuesday, Sept. 14
|Group||Matches||Time (ET)||TV channels||Stream|
|Group F||Young Boys vs. Manchester United||12:45 p.m.||UniMas, TUDN||fuboTV, Paramount+|
|Group G||Sevilla vs. RB Salzburg||12:45 p.m.||Galavision||fuboTV, Paramount+|
|Group E||Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich||3 p.m.||UniMas, TUDN||fuboTV, Paramount+|
|Group E||Dynamo Kyiv vs. Benfica||3 p.m.||TUDNxtra||fuboTV, Paramount+|
|Group F||Villarreal vs. Atalanta||3 p.m.||TUDNxtra||fuboTV, Paramount+|
|Group G||LOSC Lille vs. Wolfsburg||3 p.m.||TUDNxtra||fuboTV, Paramount+|
|Group H||Chelsea vs. Zenit St. Petersburg||3 p.m.||Galavision||fuboTV, Paramount+|
|Group H||Malmo FF vs. Juventus||3 p.m.||TUDNxtra||fuboTV, Paramount+|
Wednesday, Sept. 15
|Group||Matches||Time (ET)||TV channels||Stream|
|Group C||Besiktas vs. Borussia Dortmund||12:45 p.m.||UniMas, TUDN||fuboTV, Paramount+|
|Group D||Sheriff Tiraspol vs. Shakhtar Donetsk||12:45 p.m.||Galavision||fuboTV, Paramount+|
|Group A||Manchester City vs. RB Leipzig||3 p.m.||TUDNxtra||fuboTV, Paramount+|
|Group A||Club Brugge vs. PSG||3 p.m.||Univision, TUDN||fuboTV, Paramount+|
|Group B||Atletico Madrid vs. Porto||3 p.m.||TUDNxtra||fuboTV, Paramount+|
|Group B||Liverpool vs. AC Milan||3 p.m.||TUDNxtra||fuboTV, Paramount+|
|Group C||Sporting CP vs. Ajax||3 p.m.||TUDNxtra||fuboTV, Paramount+|
|Group D||Inter Milan vs. Real Madrid||3 p.m.||Galavision||fuboTV, Paramount+|
UEFA Champions League 2021-2022: Tournament Format
The 2021-2022 edition of the UEFA Champions League returns with a familiar format and one major new twist.
As usual, the tournament starts out with a group stage (eight groups of four teams each), and only the top two finishers in each group advance to the Round of 16 that kicks off in February 2022. Two-leg, aggregate-goal knockout rounds are played the rest of the way through to the single game final that will be held on May 28, 2022 in Russia.
- Group Stage: Sept. 14-15, Sept. 28-29, Oct. 19-20, Nov. 2-3, Nov. 23-24, Dec. 7-8
- Round of 16: Feb. 15-16, March 8-9 / Feb. 22-23, March 15-16
- Quarterfinals: April 5-6, April 12-13
- Semifinals: April 26-27, May 3-4
- Final: May 28, 2022 (St. Petersburg, Russia)
No away goals tiebreaker
Here’s that twist: For the first time since 1965, there will be no away goals tiebreaker used in the knockout rounds of UEFA competitions, including the Champions League, after it was abolished in June 2021.
Series that are tied on aggregate goals after the conclusion of the second leg will go straight to extra time and, if necessary, a penalty-kick shootout.
UEFA Champions League clubs by country
|No. of Teams||Country||Qualified Teams|
|5||Spain||Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Sevilla, Villarreal|
|4||England||Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea|
|4||Germany||Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund, VfL Wolfsburg|
|4||Italy||Inter Milan, Atalanta, AC Milan, Juventus|
|3||Portugal||Sporting CP, Porto, Benfica|
|2||France||LOSC Lille, Paris Saint-Germain|
|2||Ukraine||Dynamo Kiev, Shakhtar Donetsk|
|1||Russia||Zenit St. Petersburg|
|1||Switzerland||BSC Young Boys|