UEFA Champions League playoff draw: Fixtures, teams, rules and results for final round of 2022/23 qualifiers
The playoff qualifiers of the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League will represent the final hurdle to overcome for teams hoping to reach the lucrative group stage. The playoff matchups were confirmed following the draw on August 2.
With the preliminary, first qualifying round, and second qualifying rounds already completed, the path for teams currently participating in the third qualifying round were outlined by the playoff draw.
There are only six places left unclaimed in the 32-team group stage, with four assigned to teams on the “Champions Path” (champions of their domestic league), and two handed to the survivors of the “League Path” (teams that qualified after finishing second or lower in their domestic league table).
Reaching the group stage is a massive boost to a team’s balance sheet, with teams receiving a guaranteed cash infusion, plus potential prize money from each of six group-stage matches. There’s also the worldwide brand exposure that the group stage brings: Teams reaching the group stage get the chance to face iconic global clubs such as Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, with millions of fans around the world tuning in to watch.
Champions League playoff draw, fixtures & schedule
The Champions League playoff round draw was held on August 2 in Nyon, Switzerland.
Six tickets to the lucrative group stage will be on the line in the playoff round. Four of those will go to the winner of each of four aggregate-goal series involving domestic league champions (Champions Path), while two will be handed to the two winners of the League Path playoff matchups featuring teams that did not win their domestic league.
Only two clubs were guaranteed spots in the playoff round at the time of the draw: FC Copenhagen and Trabzonspor, both of which enter the competition for the first time at this stage.
|Match||1st Leg||2nd Leg|
|Maccabi Haifa/Apollon Limassol vs. Red Star Belgrade/FC Pyunik||Aug. 16-17||Aug. 23-24|
|FC Copenhagen (Denmark) vs. Trabzonspor (Turkey)||Aug. 16-17||Aug. 23-24|
|FK Bodo/Glimt/FK Zalgiris Vilnius vs. Ludogorets/Dinamo Zagreb||Aug. 16-17||Aug. 23-24|
|Qarabag/Ferencvaros vs. FC Sheriff/Viktoria Plzen||Aug. 16-17||Aug. 23-24|
|Match||1st Leg||2nd Leg|
|Rangers/Union Saint-Gilloise vs. Monaco/PSV||Aug. 16-17||Aug. 23-24|
|Dynamo Kyiv/Sturm Graz vs. FC Midtjylland/Benfica||Aug. 16-17||Aug. 23-24|
Teams in the Champions League playoff draw
While the third qualifying round has not yet concluded, the teams that emerge over the next two weeks will learn their potential playoff opponent.
All the teams involved in the Champions Path earned their place in the competition by winning their domestic league title last season.
The six winners of the Champions League third round qualifiers will be joined by two teams which enter the competition in the playoff round — Danish champions FC Copenhagen and Turkish champions Trabzonspor.
|Teams in Champions League playoff round:|
|3rd Rd winner: Qarabag (Azerbaijan) vs. Ferencvaros (Hungary)|
|3rd Rd winner: Ludogorets (Bulgaria) vs. Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia)|
|3rd Rd winner: Maccabi Haifa (Israel) vs. Apollon Limassol (Cyprus)|
|3rd Rd winner: FC Sheriff (Moldova) vs. Viktoria Plzen (Czech Rep.)|
|3rd Rd winner: Bodo/Glimt (Norway) vs. Zalgiris (Lithuania)|
|3rd Rd winner: Red Star Belgrade (Serbia) vs. FC Pyunik (Armenia)|
|FC Copenhagen* (Denmark)|
* = Teams entering the competition in the playoff round
These matchups involve clubs which did not win their domestic title last season, but which hail from strong enough European leagues that they are given the chance to compete for two available spots in the Champions League group stage.
The eight teams are currently participating in third round qualifying with the four survivors reaching the Champions League playoffs.
|Teams in Champions League playoff round:|
|3rd Rd winner: Sturm Graz (Austria) vs. Dynamo Kyiv (Ukraine)|
|3rd Rd winner: Union Saint-Gilloise (Belgium) vs. Rangers (Scotland)|
|3rd Rd winner: FC Midtjylland (Denmark) vs. Benfica (Portugal)|
|3rd Rd winner: PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) vs. AS Monaco (France)|
How to watch the 2022/23 Champions League
|UK||BT Sport 1/BT Sport Ultimate||BT Sport app, BT Sport YouTube|
|USA||CBS (EN), Univision/TUDN (ESP)||fuboTV, Paramount+, ViX|
How do Champions League qualifying & playoff rounds work in 2022/23?
Before the high-profile Champions League group stage, there are several qualifying rounds which culminate with the playoff round that ultimately hands out six tickets to the group stage.
Which teams are in which rounds?
The teams that participate in each round is predetermined based on their country’s UEFA coefficient ranking. That’s a mathematical formula that takes into account the finishing position of teams from that league in European competitions over the previous five years.
Teams from countries on the low end of these coefficient rankings (Ex. San Marino and Iceland) join the early rounds and have to survive a longer path to reach the group stage.
Which teams are seeded?
There’s also a club coefficient ranking which is obviously different from the country coefficient rankings. The club coefficient formula is only used to determine which teams are seeded over others in each round.
As in the case of the playoff round draw, when participants are not yet known because the matchups have not concluded, those matchups featuring the highest-ranked clubs per the UEFA club coefficient rankings are automatically designated as the seed for the playoff round.
League Path vs. Champions Path
One added wrinkle to the Champions League: Not every participating team qualifies by virtue of winning their domestic league title.
A handful of high-profile leagues also have spots reserved in the Champions League competition for teams that finish in second place or as low as fourth place (as in the case of the English Premier League).
The non-champions that are part of the qualifying rounds embark on the “League Path,” which is separate from the “Champions Path” that is reserved for league champions.
Champions League schedule 2022/23
Preliminary & qualifying rounds schedule
|Round||Draw||1st Leg||2nd Leg|
|Preliminary qualifying round||June 7, 2022||June 21, 2022||June 24, 2022|
|First qualifying round||June 14, 2022||July 5-6, 2022||July 12-13, 2022|
|Second qualifying round||June 15, 2022||July 19-20, 2022||July 26-27, 2022|
|Third qualifying round||July 18, 2022||Aug. 2-3, 2022||Aug. 9-10, 2022|
|Playoff round||Aug. 2, 2022||Aug. 16-17, 2022||Aug. 23-24, 2022|
Group stage schedule
The draw for the 2022/23 Champions League group stage will take place on August 25, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey.
|1||Sept. 6-7, 2022|
|2||Sept. 13-14, 2022|
|3||Oct. 4-5, 2022|
|4||Oct. 11-12, 2022|
|5||Oct. 25-26, 2022|
|6||Nov. 1-2, 2022|
Knockout stage schedule
The draw for the 2022/23 Champions League Round of 16 will take place on November 7, 2022.
The draw for the remaining rounds (quarterfinals and semifinals) of the 2022/23 Champions League knockout stage will take place on March 17, 2023.
|Round||1st Leg||2nd Leg|
|Round of 16||Feb. 14-22, 2023||Mar. 7-15, 2023|
|Quarterfinals||Apr. 11-12, 2023||Apr. 18-19, 2023|
|Semifinals||May 9-10, 2023||May 16-17, 2023|
|Final||June 10, 2023|