Five Champions League Places for Premier League: How an Extra Team Can Qualify in 2024

Why This Week is Important

This week is crucial for English clubs in their quest to secure the fifth Champions League spot for the Premier League. In the restructured format of the competition, the two countries with the highest coefficient will receive an additional group-stage place. Currently, England sits in the third position, with Germany in second. Opta predicts that with five English clubs still in the Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference League, there is a 70% chance of England finishing in the top two.

From 32 to 36 – Who Gets the Additional Places?

In the new format, two leagues will receive an extra place in the competition based on their performance in Europe this season, which is measured by the coefficient rankings. Italy (17.714) and Germany (16.357) currently hold those positions, with England (16.250) sitting third. The final two places will go to the associations with the best collective performance by their clubs in the previous season (total number of points obtained divided by the number of participating clubs).

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How This Affects the Other UEFA Competitions

Qualification for the Europa League and Europa Conference League will follow the same protocols as in previous years. However, if the fifth spot qualifies for the Champions League, the Europa League spot will go to the team finishing sixth. Similar format changes will also be applied to the Europa League (eight matches in the league stage) and Europa Conference League (six matches in the league stage), and both will also include 36 teams in the league phase.

If England Receives Five CL Places, Does the ECL Spot Go Down to Eighth?

Yes, it does. Provided the domestic cups are won by those finishing inside the top seven, as seen last season, with Manchester United winning the Carabao Cup and Manchester City winning the FA Cup. Based on last season, Tottenham would have qualified for the Europa Conference League, and Aston Villa would have been promoted to the Europa League.

How This Could Impact the 2024/25 Domestic Leagues Schedules

The Champions League will almost double in size, from a total of 125 games to 225. At least four additional matchdays will be required to fit in the extra games. This will inevitably cause issues for domestic leagues, with fewer dates to fit in all their games.

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How the New Champions League Format Works

The biggest change in the new Champions League format is the transformation from the traditional group stage to a single league phase, including all participating teams. Every club will now be guaranteed a minimum of eight league-stage games against eight different opponents (four home games, four away) rather than the previous six matches against three teams, played on a home-and-away basis. The top eight sides in the league will qualify automatically for the knockout stage, while the teams finishing in ninth to 24th place will compete in a two-legged play-off to secure their path to the last 16 of the competition.

Has the Premier League Had Five CL Participants Before?

The Premier League had five potential Champions League berths in 2005 when Liverpool won the competition but finished outside the top four. However, the clubs had to go through qualifiers. During the 2015/16 season, the Premier League had five teams in the Champions League, but only the top four finishers qualified directly for the group stage. The fifth-placed team had to go through a play-off round.

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