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Which teams are in the 2022/23 Youth League?

Which teams have already qualified for the 2022/23 UEFA Youth League and who could join them?

Last season's finalists, Salzburg and Benfica, will take part in the 2022/23 edition
Last season's finalists, Salzburg and Benfica, will take part in the 2022/23 edition SPORTSFILE

The UEFA Youth League returns for its ninth edition in 2022/23, with 64 teams competing for the title.

The contenders are equally split into two paths, the UEFA Champions League path and the domestic champions path, both of which begin in September before they come together for the knockout phase in 2023.

Who will line up in this season's UEFA Youth League?

UEFA Champions League path

Group A: Ajax (NED), Liverpool (ENG), Napoli (ITA), Rangers (SCO)

Group B: Porto (POR), Atlético (ESP), Bayer Leverkusen (GER), Club Brugge (BEL)

Group C: Bayern München (GER), Barcelona (ESP), Inter (ITA), Viktoria Plzeň (CZE)

Group D: Eintracht Frankfurt (GER), Tottenham Hotspur (ENG), Sporting CP (POR), Marseille (FRA)

Group E: AC Milan (ITA), Chelsea (ENG), Salzburg (AUT), Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)

Group F: Real Madrid (ESP), Leipzig (GER), Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), Celtic (SCO)

Group G: Manchester City (ENG), Sevilla (ESP), Borussia Dortmund (GER), Copenhagen (DEN)

Group H: Paris Saint-Germain (FRA), Juventus (ITA), Benfica (POR, holders), Maccabi Haifa (ISR)

Domestic champions path

2022 final highlights: Salzburg 0-6 Benfica

First round draw (14 September & 5 October)

Omonoia (CYP) vs Crvena zvezda (SRB)
Young Boys (SUI) vs Domžale (SVN)
Genk (BEL) vs Slavia Praha (CZE)
Nantes (FRA) vs Pyunik (ARM)
AZ Alkmaar (NED) vs Shamrock Rovers (IRL)
AIK (SWE) vs Racing Union (LUX)
Molde (NOR) vs Hibernian (SCO)
Coleraine (NIR) vs Pobeda (MKD)

MTK Budapest (HUN) vs Jelgava (LVA)
Žalgiris Vilnius (LTU) vs Trenčín (SVK)
Hajduk Split (CRO) vs Gabala (AZE)
Rukh Lviv (UKR) vs Zagłębie Lubin (POL)
Ashdod (ISR) vs Borac Banja Luka (BIH)
Slavia Sofia (BUL) vs Panathinaikos (GRE)
Astana (KAZ) vs Apolonia (ALB)
Csikszereda Miercurea Ciuc (ROU) vs Galatasaray (TUR)

Second round draw (26 October & 2 November)

AZ Alkmaar (NED) / Shamrock Rovers (IRL) vs Omonoia (CYP) / Crvena zvezda (SRB)
Molde (NOR) / Hibernian (SCO) vs Nantes (FRA) / Pyunik (ARM)
Young Boys (SUI) / Domžale (SVN) vs AIK (SWE) / Racing Union (LUX)
Genk (BEL) / Slavia Praha (CZE) vs Coleraine (NIR) / Pobeda (MKD)

Slavia Sofia (BUL) / Panathinaikos (GRE) vs Žalgiris Vilnius (LTU) / Trenčín (SVK)
Astana (KAZ) / Apolonia (ALB) vs Hajduk Split (CRO) / Gabala (AZE)
Csikszereda Miercurea Ciuc (ROU) / Galatasaray (TUR) vs Rukh Lviv (UKR) / Zagłębie Lubin (POL)
Ashdod (ISR) / Borac Banja Luka (BIH) vs MTK Budapest (HUN) / Jelgava (LVA)

Team guide

• Along with holders Benfica (who also won the first Under-20 Intercontinental Cup on Sunday), all past champions are involved including joint-record two-time winners Barcelona and Chelsea, plus Porto, Real Madrid and Salzburg (who lost the 2022 final).

• Ajax, Atlético, Barcelona, Bayern München, Benfica, Juventus, Manchester City, Paris, Porto and Real Madrid maintain their perfect record of having entered all nine editions of this competition, which began in 2013/14.

• Pyunik and Coleraine are the first UEFA Youth League entrants from Armenia and Northern Ireland respectively, taking the number of different associations represented at least once in the nine editions to 45.

• Frankfurt and Nantes are the 11th different German and French entrants respectively, equalling Spain's record.

• Along with Coleraine, Frankfurt, Nantes and Pyunik, there are debuts for Apolonia, Ashdod, Borac Banja Luka, Csikszereda Miercurea Ciuc, Hibernian, Jelgava, Omonoia, Panathinaikos, Pobeda, Racing Union, Rukh Lviv, Shamrock Rovers, Slavia Sofia, Trenčín and Zagłębie Lubin.

What is the format of the UEFA Youth League?

Benfica's hat-trick hero on Youth League glory

The 32 clubs that compete in the UEFA Champions League path will be those that take part in the group stage of the senior competition. They are joined by the 32 domestic youth champions from the highest-ranked entering associations whose senior team did not qualify for the Champions League group stage – these clubs take part in the domestic champions path. If the senior team of a domestic youth champion did qualify for the Champions League group stage, the vacant place is filled by the domestic youth champion of the next-ranked entering association.

The groups in the Champions League path will be identical to those for the senior competition. The group winners will progress directly to the round of 16, with the runners-up going into the play-offs.

The domestic champions path teams compete in two rounds of two-legged knockout ties. The eventual eight second-round winners then progress to the play-offs.

The knockout phase consists of one-off ties starting with the play-offs, where the eight domestic champions path winners will each be at home against one of the eight Champions League path group runners-up.

The eight play-off winners then join the eight Champions League path group winners in the round of 16. The semi-finals and final are, as always, played at Colovray Stadium in Nyon.

Draw and match dates

UEFA Champions League path: group stage
Matchday 1: 6/7 September
Matchday 2: 13/14 September
Matchday 3: 4/5 October
Matchday 4: 11/12 October
Matchday 5: 25/26 October
Matchday 6: 1/2 November

Domestic champions path
Round 1 first leg: 14 September
Round 1 second leg: 5 October
Round 2 first leg: 26 October
Round 2 second leg: 2 November

Knockout phase
Play-off draw: 8 November, Nyon
Play-offs: 7/8 February
Knockout draw (round of 16 onwards): 13 February, Nyon
Round of 16: 28 February/1 March
Quarter-finals: 14/15 March
Semi-finals: 21 April, Colovray Stadium, Nyon
Final: 24 April, Colovray Stadium, Nyon