Champions Montpellier drawn in Group A alongside three previous winners
The four most recent winners were drawn together in Group A of the VELUX EHF Champions League as defending champions Montpellier HB were drawn alongside RK Vardar (2017 winners), Barca Lassa (2015) and PGE Vive Kielce (2016).
All four groups of the group phase were determined on Friday at the Erste Campus in Vienna as two world handball players of the year Thierry Omeyer and Eduarda Amorim conducted the draw together with the EHF Secretary General Martin Hausleitner.
Meshkov Brest, Telekom Veszprem, IFK Kristianstad and Rhein-Neckar Löwen join the four winners in Group A.
Two other former winners - SG Flensburg-Handewitt from 2014 and Celje Pivovarna Lasko from 2004 will play in Group B together with the last season's runners-up HBC Nantes and other French heavyweights Paris-Saint Germain Handball, surprising Hungarian champions MOL-Pick Szeged, the Danish trophy holders Skjern Handball, perennial Croatian champions HC PPD Zagreb and the newcomers in the A/B section HC Motor Zaporozhye.
The only newcomers of the next season Riihimäen Cocks will start in Group D together with Orlen Wisla Plock, Abanca Ademar Leon, Elverum Handball, Wacker Thun and Dinamo Bucuresti, while Group C gathers HC Metalurg, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg, Sporting CP, Besiktas Mogaz, Chechovskie Medvedi and Tatran Presov.
The first round is scheduled for 12-16 September 2018, the playing order will be announced in due time.
PGE Vive Kielce
HC Meshov Brest
Telekom Veszprém HC
Paris Saint-Germain HB
HC PPD Zagreb
HC Motor Zaporozhye
RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko
Orlen Wisla Plock
Abanca Ademar Leon