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Roma need the Champions League

Lincoln Red ImpsLincoln Red Imps
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 1
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 By Terry Daley

Roma relying on Champions League qualification to help cut gap to Juve

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti assesses Serie A clubs that will represent Italy in the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League.

The final stages of Champions League qualifying have been something of a graveyard for Italian teams in recent years. Since the introduction of the current qualifying system in 2009, just two Serie A clubs -- Fiorentina that year and AC Milan in 2013 -- have made it past the final playoff round to the group stages. Lazio, Napoli, Udinese (twice) and Sampdoria have all fallen at the final hurdle.

For a team that spent the whole of the previous campaign fighting for that place, being knocked out before...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

When does the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League group stage start?

Real Madrid
Real Madrid defeated Atletico Madrid on penalties to win the 2016 UEFA Champions League final.

The draw for the UEFA Champions League group stage will take place on Aug. 25, 2016.

Pot 1, which includes holders and champions of top seven ranked nations, consists of Real Madrid (Spain, holders), Barcelona (Spain), Leicester City (England), Bayern Munich (Germany), Juventus (Italy), Benfica (Portugal), Paris Saint-Germain (France) and CSKA Moscow (Russia).

Matchday one of the group stage will kickoff on Sept. 13-14, 2016. Subsequent group-stage matchdays occur on Sept. 27-28, Oct. 18-19, Nov....