Chelsea legend Michael Essien has been named as one of two special guests to assist with the UEFA Champions League draw to be held in Istanbul, Turkey today, August 26.
The Ghanaian will be joined by former teammate Branislav Ivanovic of Serbia.
The two were part of Chelsea’s maiden UEFA Champions League triumph in 2012.
The group stage draw on Thursday will see their former club, the current holders, joined by 31 other European sides to be put into eight groups of four teams each.
Chelsea, who beat Villarreal on penalties to win the UEFA Super Cup a fortnight ago, will be joined by Manchester City, Manchester United, and Liverpool as the teams from England.
Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla and Villarreal will represent Spain while Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg represent Germany.
The Italian Serie A reps will be Inter Milan, AC Milan, Atalanta and Juventus.
How the draw works
The teams will be split into four seeding pots. Pot 1 will consist of the holders, the UEFA Europa League winners and the champions of the six highest-ranked nations who did not qualify via one of the 2020/21 titles; Pots 2 to 4 will be determined by the club coefficient rankings.
No team can play a side from their own association. Any other restrictions will be announced ahead of the draw ceremony.
In the case of associations with two representatives, clubs will be paired in order to split their matches between Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In the case of associations with four representatives, two pairings will be made. These pairings are to be based on TV audiences.
The top two teams in each group advance to the round of 16.
The third-placed sides in each group transfer to the UEFA Europa League knockout stage, where they will face the UEFA Europa League group runners-up for places in the last 16.
The first group stage matches will be played on September 14/15.