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Fifth place in the Champions League: The exit of Manchester United and Newcastle could affect the Premier League's hopes of securing an additional place

Fifth place in the Champions League: The exit of Manchester United and Newcastle could affect the Premier League's hopes of securing an additional place

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Manchester City is the defending champion of the Champions League

The early exit of Manchester United and Newcastle United from Europe has seen the Premier League currently miss out on an extra place in next season's Champions League.

Europe's two most successful countries will each gain one additional place in next year's revamped competition.

At the end of the Champions League group stage, the German League and the Italian League lead the standings, followed by England and Spain in fourth place.

The 2024-25 Champions League will feature 36 teams, up from 32 in the 2023-24 season.

How has the format of the Champions League changed?

Since the 2003–04 season, the group stage has seen eight groups, each containing four clubs, with a team playing the other three on a home-and-away basis, with the top two teams progressing to the knockout stage.

Next year, 36 clubs will compete in what is known as the “Swiss” system, with each playing eight matches against eight different opponents, with four matches at home and four away.

The top eight clubs will qualify directly to the Round of 16, where clubs from ninth to 24th will meet in home-and-away play-offs with the winners qualifying.

Two additional places will be awarded to the best performing leagues in Europe this season. Realistically, the additional places will go to two countries: Germany, Italy, Spain and England.

This means that a team that finishes fifth in the Premier League this season could automatically qualify for the Champions League.

The UEFA Coefficient Ranking – based on the results of all European clubs in UEFA competitions – determines which two leagues will benefit from the additional places.

Each win for a team from a country is worth two points and a draw is worth one.

Bonus points are then accumulated by progressing through different stages of each competition, with them weighted in favor of teams that perform well in the Champions League, then the Europa League and then the European Conference League.

All the points earned by clubs from each country are summed up before being divided by the number of teams from that country in Europe – eight in the case of the English Premier League.

One place will go to the third-placed team in the domestic league and currently ranked fifth in the UEFA coefficient – the Czech Republic.

The last bonus points will go to the champions qualifying track. Four teams used to pass this way to the group stage, but as of next season the number will be five. The place cannot go to a team from the top ten leagues because their champions do not qualify.

How does the rankings stand at the moment?

In six of the past seven seasons, England have qualified for that additional 'most successful' position but Newcastle and Manchester United's group stage exits this season have left them in third place, behind Germany and Italy.

Italy saw its seven teams qualify through the group stages, while Union Berlin was the only German team that was unable to qualify.

Spain lost Sevilla from the Champions League but still has six European hopes remaining.

With Manchester United and Newcastle in last place in their Champions League groups, defending champions Manchester City and Arsenal are the two remaining English teams.

However, Brighton, Liverpool and West Ham are all in the last 16 of the Europa League, while Aston Villa are in the same stage of the Conference League.

If these two teams go on to lift the trophy, as the Hammers did last season by winning the Conference League, this could be the difference.

According to Opta, England still have a 77% chance of securing an additional Champions League place for the 2024-25 season, with Italy (50.4%) and Germany (48.3%) more likely.

The remaining teams in each competition by country (in the order of country transactions as of December 13)

Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Leipzig

Bayer Leverkusen, Freiburg

Inter Milan, Lazio, Napoli

Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid, Real Sociedad

Brighton, Liverpool, West Ham

Club Brugge, Ghent, Union Saint-Gilloise

Lens, Marseille, Rennes, Toulouse

Slavia Prague, Sparta Prague

Benfica, Braga, Sporting Lisbon

Maccabi Haifa, Maccabi Tel Aviv

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