MONACO, Monaco - Real Madrid's Champions League title defence takes shape Thursday at one of the most open draws in years.
Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Chelsea — the past four winners — are among the eight top-seeded clubs in the 32-team draw. However, lower-ranked seeding pots loaded with big spenders returning to the Champions League after years away promise to deliver trickier than usual groups.
Five-time winner Liverpool will make its first appearance since 2009 in Pot 3, decided by rankings over five years of UEFA competition results.
Manchester City, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain — champions of England, Italy and France — are in Pot 2. Former finalists Monaco and Roma are in Pot 4.
The four-team groups cannot include two teams from the same country.