7 Premier League Clubs in Adapted Champions League Format

Photo of Champions League Trophy

This season ahead signifies the conclusion of the current setup, featuring 32 teams grouped into foursomes, as UEFA gets ready to launch its expanded tournament next season, a move that has sparked debates. Nevertheless, the anticipation of more matches and increased club participation is seen as advantageous for English clubs.

The Champions League group stage kicks off on Tuesday evening, with Manchester City aiming to make history by becoming the first club, aside from Real Madrid, to clinch consecutive titles since 1990. This season also sees the return of Newcastle United to the tournament after a 20-year absence.

Nevertheless, other Premier League contenders such as Arsenal and Manchester United are looking to deliver strong performances to secure a fifth English club’s participation in the expanded tournament scheduled for next season. The current campaign represents the final year of the format that involves 32 teams divided into eight groups of four.

In the 2024-25 season, UEFA is set to introduce the controversial “Swiss model,” which will bring in four additional teams and an extra 64 matches. Each club will be guaranteed eight matches, with most of them playing ten. All 36 clubs will compete in a league table and engage in eight round-robin games.

Following this phase, the top eight will advance to the last 16, while teams ranked ninth to 24th will enter the initial knockout round. Teams ranked 25th and below will no longer have the opportunity to drop into the Europa League.

Out of the four extra teams, two will hail from the leagues with the highest coefficients, currently featuring the Premier League and La Liga. These coefficient rankings are based on the collective performance of national association teams over the past decade. While England currently maintains a comfortable lead over third-placed Italy, there remains a theoretical possibility of a drop in rankings if clubs underperform.

However, a strong performance by this season’s quartet will secure an additional spot for the team finishing fifth in the Premier League for the subsequent autumn.


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