A tournament that normally begins in September, it won’t be until the first week in March where 64 of Europe’s top youth academies are finally able to do battle. After UEFA decided to change the competition format due to the global pandemic, the Youth League will take on a new look this season. Instead of the 32 Champions League participants going into the usual Group Stage like the senior sides, every club heads into a tournament tree in 2020-21.
The Champions League clubs will remain in one half of the draw and the Domestic Champions (FC) in the other. This is the case for the Round of 64 and Round of 32, before the Last 16 sees the two halves come together. Unlike previous competitions, the ties will be decided in a single leg. There are will be no seedings, as announced by UEFA.
FC will make their debut in the competition alongside 14 other teams. Angers, Apolonia, AZ Alkmaar, Celta Vigo, Chertanovo, Dinamo Minsk, Ferencváros, Górnik Zabrze, Györ, İstanbul Başakşehir, Lazio, Odense, Olimpija Ljubljana, Waterford. From that list, FC would have to wait until the Last 16 to possibly face İstanbul Başakşehir, Lazio and Ferencváros.
UEFA announced that the teams would be split into four groups of eight teams, with FC in Group 2 of four. That means that FC will face one of the following seven teams:
Galatasaray A.Ş. (TUR) AZ Alkmaar (NED) GNK Dinamo (CRO) Rangers FC (SCO) Hammarby Fotboll (SWE) Rosenborg BK (NOR) Waterford FC (IRL)
You can watch the draw live here, or follow the action on the usual FC social media channels.
Celta Vigo (ESP), Angers (FRA), Chertanovo (RUS), Benfica (POR), Genk (BEL), Sparta Praha (CZE), PAOK (GRE), Odense (DEN), Basel (SUI), APOEL (CYP), Crvena zvezda (SRB), Dinamo Minsk (BLR), Kairat (KAZ), Górnik Zabrze (POL), Gabala (AZE), Maccabi Haifa (ISR), Ludogorets (BUL), Viitorul (ROU), Žilina (SVK), Olimpija Ljubljana (SVN), Györ (HUN), Shkëndija (MKD), Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA), Apolonia (ALB).
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