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Champions League & Europa League - Changes from 2018/19

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Qualifying for the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League is evolving from 2018/19. We explain the new system.

KEY CHANGES

Twenty-six teams now gain direct entry to the UEFA Champions League group stage – including the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League winners – with six qualifying places available

Every team eliminated in UEFA Champions League qualifying will get a second chance in the UEFA Europa League

Seventeen teams now gain direct entry to the UEFA Europa League group stage, with ten teams directly transferring from the UEFA Champions League play-offs and third qualifying round plus 21 qualifying places in two different paths (UEFA Europa League champions and league paths)

There will be a preliminary round in qualifying for the UEFA Champions League (played as a knockout mini-tournament) and UEFA Europa League (played as two-legged ties)

There is no change to the formats from the group stage onwards but there will be staggered kick-offs – 18.55CET and 21.00CET – in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Group stage

There will now be 26 teams automatically qualified as per the access list drawn up from the UEFA association coefficients at the end of 2016/17.

For 2018/19 they will be ...
UEFA Champions League holders (1)
UEFA Europa League holders (1)
Top four from associations ranked 1st to 4th: Spain, Germany, England, Italy (16)
Top two from associations ranked 5th and 6th: France, Russia (4)
Champions of associations ranked 7th to 10th: Portugal, Ukraine, Belgium, Turkey (4)

If the UEFA Champions League holders have qualified for the group stage via their domestic championship, the vacancy will be filled by the champions of the association ranked 11th (Czech Republic), who otherwise compete in the champions path

If the UEFA Europa League holders have qualified for the group stage via their domestic championship, the vacancy will be filled by the third-placed club from the association ranked fifth (France), who otherwise compete in the league path

An association may have a maximum of five teams in the group stage

Qualifying

As now there are two paths: the champions path and the league path. Teams enter as per the access list draw up from the UEFA association coefficients at the end of 2016/17.

Champions route (four group places)

This route consists of the champions of the associations ranked 11th and below, and now includes a preliminary round as well as three qualifying rounds and a play-off round:

Preliminary round (played as knockout mini-tournament): four teams enter

First qualifying round: 33 teams enter plus winner of preliminary round

Second qualifying round: three teams enter plus 17 first qualifying round winners

Third qualifying round: two teams enter plus ten second qualifying round winners

Play-offs: two teams enter plus six third qualifying round winners

All teams eliminated in the champions path between the preliminary round and the third qualifying round will be given a second chance to compete at European level by entering a new dedicated champions path of UEFA Europa League qualifying with staggered access according to round of elimination from the UEFA Champions League. Teams eliminated in champions path play-offs enter the UEFA Europa League group stage directly.

League route (two group places)

This route consists of the third-placed teams of the associations ranked fifth and sixth, and the runners-up of the associations ranked seventh to 15th. There are three rounds in all:

Second qualifying round: six teams enter

Third qualifying round: five teams enter plus three second qualifying round winners

Play-offs: four third qualifying round winners

All teams eliminated in the second qualifying round of the league path will be given a second chance to compete at European level by entering the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League league path. Teams eliminated in the league path third qualifying round and play-offs enter the UEFA Europa League group stage directly.

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE

Group stage

There will now be 17 teams automatically qualified as per the access list drawn up from the UEFA association coefficients at the end of 2016/17.

For 2018/19 they will be ...
Two teams from associations ranked 1st to 5th: Spain, Germany, England, Italy, France (10)
One team from associations ranked 6th to 12th: Russia, Portugal, Ukraine, Belgium, Turkey, Czech Republic, Switzerland (7)

Ten teams also enter the group stage direct from the UEFA Champions League: six teams eliminated in the league path (third qualifying round and play-offs) and four teams eliminated in the champions path play-offs.

Qualifying

From 2018/19 there will be two paths: the champions path and the league path. Teams enter as per the access listdrawn up from the UEFA association coefficients at the end of 2016/17.

Champions route (eight group places)

This route consists of teams eliminated in the UEFA Champions League champions path between the preliminary round and the third qualifying round. There are three teams in all:

Second qualifying round: 20 teams eliminated in UEFA Champions League preliminary round and first qualifying round

Third qualifying round: ten teams eliminated in UEFA Champions League second qualifying round plus ten winners from UEFA Europa League champions path second qualifying round

Play-offs: six teams eliminated in UEFA Champions League third  qualifying round plus ten winners from UEFA Europa League champions path third qualifying round

League route (13 group places)

This route consists of the remaining UEFA Europa League entrants from all 55 associations plus teams eliminated from the UEFA Champions League league path second qualifying round

Preliminary round: 16 teams enter

First qualifying round: 86 teams enter plus eight preliminary round winners

Second qualifying round: 27 teams enter plus 47 first qualifying round winners

Third qualifying round: 15 teams enter (including the three teams eliminated from the UEFA Champions League league path second qualifying round) plus 37 second qualifying round winners

Play-offs: 26 third qualifying round winners

 

 

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Another structure protecting the establishment. Surprise surprise.

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5.55pm kick off's, seem's sensible. What a great call by the organisers.

Pretty sure around 5pm that's the quietest part of the day to be travelling to a Football match, especially getting through the likes of Manchester, London, Liverpool etc. Should be no issue's at all.

They have really thought that through. Well done to them.

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Changes confirmed today

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Finishing fourth in the Premier League has just become even more valuable.

UEFA have rubber-stamped proposals that would see the top-flight team finishing in that position go straight into the Champions League group stage.

Previously, any team that came fourth in England, Spain, Italy and Germany had to negotiate a play-off to enter the Champions League proper.

However, the restructure means that ahead of the 2018/19 season this will be scrapped, with the top four guaranteed entry into the premier club competition.

The tournament will also now have two new kick-off times, with the traditional 7.45pm kick off being replaced by 5.55pm and 8pm.

The news will come as a boost to teams who finish fourth, knowing that they will have a spot in the group stages, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Winning the Champions League - or Europa League - will also guarantee entry into the last 32.

However, if two teams who finish outside England's top four win those two competitions, then the fourth-placed team would drop into the Europa League.

The rules for automatic qualification read:

There will now be 26 teams automatically qualified.

For 2018/19 they will be...

UEFA Champions League holders (1)

UEFA Europa League holders (1)

Top four from associations ranked 1st to 4th: Spain, Germany, England, Italy (16)

Top two from associations ranked 5th and 6th: France, Russia (4)

Champions of associations ranked 7th to 10th: Portugal, Ukraine, Belgium, Turkey (4)

There will also be six other qualifiers - four champions of their domestic league, two 'non-champions' - to make up the group stages.

The teams who finish fifth and sixth in the Premier League are also guaranteed a spot in the Europa League group stages.

The 2019 Champions League final will be played in Madrid, Spain, on June 1.

Tottenham are currently sitting in fourth place, seven points ahead of Chelsea with five games left in the season.

 

 

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To all my fellow Yanks on here @Eco next season's Champions League broadcasts will be free on Univision and pay on Turner Sports (TBS, TNT, TruTV, and CNN en Espanol) and UDN. What does everyone think about this?

I kinda got used to Fox Sports these past few years. Wasn't perfect but I like and enjoy their format.

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Fucking hell, so instead of allowing smaller sides direct passage into the competition after winning their domestic league, it's teams who finished 4th in the top 4 leagues that get entry. So PSV, Midtjylland, Salzburg, AEK, BATE Borisov, Red Star Belgrade, Celtic and Rosenborg for example have to put their qualification down to what is essentially a pre-season competitive match. Great competition.

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1 hour ago, Pep Talk said:

5.55pm kick offs wtf 

UK is on the same time as CET until the end of october so we will get some 6:55pm kick offs. Might not be too bad (obviously home games can't be that time)

 

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On 5/26/2018 at 18:12, Paulo Dybala said:

To all my fellow Yanks on here @Eco next season's Champions League broadcasts will be free on Univision and pay on Turner Sports (TBS, TNT, TruTV, and CNN en Espanol) and UDN. What does everyone think about this?

I kinda got used to Fox Sports these past few years. Wasn't perfect but I like and enjoy their format.

I don't mind Fox Sports. But I also don't mind matches on Univision. 

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