What Europa League winners will mean for Champions League places

What Europa League winners will mean for Champions League places

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The winners of the Europa League qualify, by right, for the Champions League playoff round.

However, as the winners of the Champions League — which will be Juventus or Real Madrid — have already qualified for the group stage via their league position, the spot for the holders is free. And this means the team that lifts the Europa League will be elevated directly into the Champions League group stage.

Depending on who wins the Europa League, and where they finish in their domestic league, this could be good news for a couple of teams who enter in the qualifying rounds.

AJAX

They sit second in the Eredivisie with one game to go, which puts them into the third qualifying round of the Champions League.

If finish second in Eredivisie and win Europa:
– odd number of teams left in Champions League qualifiers
– team which finishes third in France (currently Nice) promoted from third qualifying round to final qualifying round
– 8 teams in third qualifying round, the winners joining six in final qualifying round
– The Netherlands has two teams in the UCL, Feyenoord and Ajax, both in the group stage

If win Eredivisie and Europa:
– No change to access, Feyenoord as runners-up go into the third qualifying round

CELTA VIGO

Celta Vigo cannot qualify for Europe other than by winning the Europa League.

If win Europa:
– La Liga has five teams in the UCL. The top three and Celta Vigo in the group stage, and fourth place in the final qualifying round

LYON

Lyon lost 4-1 to Ajax in the first leg of their semifinal, so it’s unlikely they will now reach the final. They will also finish in a Europa League place in Ligue 1

If finish fourth in Ligue 1, win Europa, PSG win Coupe de France:
– France has four teams in the UCL. The top two and Lyon in the group stage, and third place in the third qualifying round
– Fifth and sixth in Ligue 1 enter the Europa League in the third qualifying round

If finish fifth in Ligue 1, win Europa, PSG win Coupe de France:
– France has four teams in the UCL. The top two and Lyon in the group stage, and third place in the third qualifying round
– Fourth in Ligue 1 goes to Europa League group stage, sixth in the third qualifying round

If finish fifth or sixth in Ligue 1, win Europa, PSG lose Coupe de France:
– France has four teams in the UCL. The top two and Lyon in the group stage, and third place in the third qualifying round
– Angers enter Europa League group stage as Coupe de France winners. Fifth or sixth in Ligue 1 enter in the third qualifying round

MANCHESTER UNITED

Manchester United look most likely to finish in the Europa League places in the Premier League.

If finish third and win Europa:
– No effect on places. Premier League has United, plus first and second in Champions League group stage, plus fourth in the final qualifying round. Fifth and sixth go to the Europa League group stage, and Everton to the UEL third qualifying round.

If finish fourth and win Europa:
– odd number of teams left in Champions League qualifiers
– team which finishes third in France (currently Nice) and second in Russia (CSKA or Zenit) promoted from third qualifying round to final qualifying round
– 8 teams in third qualifying round, the winners joining six in final qualifying round
– England has four teams in the UCL, all direct to the group stage. Fifth and sixth go to the Europa League group stage, and Everton to the UEL third qualifying round.

If finish fifth or sixth and win Europa:
– United go to Champions League group stage. There is no change to the usual allocation of top three to group stage and fourth to final qualifying round from the Premier League
– England has two teams in the Europa League – fifth or sixth (to the group stage), plus Everton
– Everton are guaranteed to be in the third qualifying round. Man United moving up to the Champions League would not elevate them to the Europa League group stage

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