HOW IT WORKS
The UEFA Youth League, now in the second year of a two-season experiment, is the leading club competition for youth players. Its main aims are educational and cultural, designed to provide young players with an opportunity to grow and develop by meeting opponents from other countries. The first UEFA Youth League was won by FC Barcelona, who beat Benfica in the final. This season, the competition is open to players born between 1 January 1996 and 31 December 1999.
- Group stage
Access to the competition is reserved for the youth teams of the 32 participating clubs in the UEFA Champions League. The sides compete in a group stage with the same section composition and similar calendar as the UEFA Champions League.
- Knockout rounds and final
The knockout phase consists of single-leg ties, meaning a maximum of ten matches for any team, with the semi-finals and final contested in Nyon, Switzerland. There is no third-place play-off and in the event of a draw, all knockout games will be decided by a penalty shootout, without extra time.
Tuesday 16 September - 15.00 - CE La Turbie
AS Monaco - Bayer Leverkusen
Wednesday 1 October - 13.00 - Petrovskiy small Arena
Zenit St-Petersburg - AS Monaco
Tuesday 22 October - 15.00 - CE La Turbie
AS Monaco - SL Benfica
Tuesday 4 November - 15.00 - Caixa Futebol Campus Seixal
SL Benfica - AS Monaco
Wednesday 26 November - 14.00 - Ulrich-Habaland Stadium
Bayer Leverkusen - AS Monaco
Wednesday 9 December - 15.00 - CE La Turbie
AS Monaco - Zenit St-Petersburg
AS Monaco's three opponents featured in last year's inaugural UEFA Youth League. With mixed fortunes…
- Zenit St-Petersburg: the Russian club finished fourth and last in their group, behind FC Porto, Austria Vienna and Atlético Madrid. They failed to win a single match, suffering five defeats and earning just the solitary draw. They will no doubt be looking to improve on that showing this time around.
- SL Benfica: unbeaten in the group stage, the Portuguese club saw off PSG, Anderlecht and Olympiakos. After beating Austria Vienna in the round of sixteen (4-1), Benfica then eliminated Manchester City (2-1) in the quarters, before going on to thrash Real Madrid in the semi-final (4-0). However, FC Barcelona proved a far tougher nut to crack in the final, and the Catalans secured the trophy with a comprehensive 3-0 win.
Bayer Leverkusen : two defeats in their opening two games against Manchester United and Real Sociedad proved to be Bayer's downfall, despite glowing performances in the return fixtures (with wins over Man Utd and Real Sociedad and a draw with Shakhtar Donetsk. The Germans finished third in their group.)