Wednesday, 24 Jul 2024

The Race for Extra Champions League Spots: Who Will Benefit?

Introduction

The Champions League is set to expand to a 36-team competition, and two leagues will receive extra places based on their performance in Europe this season. As the knockout stages of the Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference League progress, the race for these coveted spots heats up. Let’s take a closer look at which leagues are likely to benefit.

champions league europe

How does it work?

The allocation of extra places is determined by the average coefficient score of all teams from each country participating in European competitions. Each win is worth two coefficient points, while a draw earns one point, and defeats yield no points. Bonus points are also awarded for reaching specific stages of the competitions, giving additional recognition to teams performing well in high-profile tournaments.

So wins aren’t worth more in the Champions League?

No, the coefficient system looks at the overall strength of leagues rather than emphasizing wins in specific competitions. Bonus points are designed to acknowledge the strength of different tournaments on a sliding scale and reward teams that may not achieve many positive results in the Champions League. Leagues benefit from some teams dropping down to the Europa League, where each two-legged tie offers more opportunities for points.

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Won’t this benefit the top leagues?

Historically, top leagues like England and Spain have secured the majority of extra spots. However, in the 2021-2022 season, the Netherlands finished in the top two of the coefficient ranking, demonstrating that smaller leagues can also compete. Let’s now see who is in contention for the extra places this season.

The Contenders

The top 10 leagues vying for the extra Champions League spots are as follows:

  1. Italy, 15.571
  2. Germany, 14.500
  3. England, 13.875
  4. France, 13.250
  5. Spain, 13.187
  6. Czechia, 12.750
  7. Belgium, 12.400
  8. Turkey, 11.000
  9. Portugal, 9.833
  10. Netherlands, 9.800

Italy is currently leading the race, followed by Germany and England. However, it’s essential to consider the number of teams from each league still competing and their performances in the knockout stages.

State of Play for the Contending Leagues

Let’s take a closer look at each league’s situation and their chances of securing the extra Champions League spots:

Italy

  • 7 teams in the round of 16
  • All teams still active
  • Strong position, expected to secure a top two place

Germany

  • 5 teams in the round of 16
  • 2 teams eliminated, 3 still active
  • In a good position, but needs Freiburg to advance in the Europa League

England

  • 6 teams in the round of 16
  • 2 teams eliminated, 4 still active
  • Favored to finish in the top two with multiple teams progressing in the Europa League and Europa Conference League

France

  • 3 teams in the round of 16
  • All other teams eliminated
  • Chances of making the top two are low due to fewer teams remaining
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Spain

  • 5 teams in the round of 16
  • 3 teams eliminated, 2 still active
  • Difficult position with four teams in the Champions League, making it challenging to compete for the top two spots

Czechia

  • 3 teams in the round of 16
  • 1 team eliminated
  • An outside bet, requiring strong performances from all teams to stay in contention

Belgium

  • 2 teams in the round of 16
  • 3 teams eliminated
  • Unlikely to mount a serious challenge with only two teams remaining

What to Look Out for in March

March will be a crucial month in determining the extra Champions League spots. The performances of teams from Germany, Italy, Spain, and England will be particularly significant and could influence the outcome. Teams from these leagues will face tough battles against each other, and their successes or failures will shape the final standings.

In the Europa League, Italian clubs’ performances, especially Roma’s match against Brighton, will impact their league’s chances. The Freiburg vs. West Ham tie in the Bundesliga will also be crucial for Germany’s prospects. The English teams’ clashes against tough opponents will provide insight into their league’s position.

Conclusion

The race for the extra Champions League spots is heating up, with Italy currently leading the pack. However, the competition remains fierce, with Germany and England close behind. Other leagues, such as France and Spain, face challenges due to the number of teams still competing.

FAQs

  • When will we find out who gets the extra places?
    The final allocation of the extra spots may take until the end of the season to determine. In certain cases, it could even come down to the Champions League final in June.

  • What is the maximum number of places in the Champions League and European competitions?
    From 2024-25 onwards, the maximum number of Champions League places for one association could be seven, while up to 11 teams from a single association could participate in European competitions.

  • Which teams would benefit right now?
    Currently, RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga and Bologna in Serie A are in fifth place, making them potential beneficiaries of the extra Champions League spots.

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