After the Champions League and Europa League, the new Europa Conference League will represent the third tier of European club football. If you are wondering what’s this all about, we are going to share with you how it works.
The Europa Conference League, which will be launched by Uefa next season, is a new European football league in town.
What is the Europa Conference League?
The Europa Conference League, formerly known as the ‘Europa League 2’ (UEL2), is a new Uefa competition that is considered to be the third tier of European club football, after the Champions League and Europa League.
As it stands, this competition will only run for three-season whilst UEFA evaluates its sustainability. The first season will start with qualifying rounds in July before the competition properly starts in September.
However, the idea behind the new Europa Conference League is to permit more teams to gain much-needed experience of playing European football.
Uefa President Aleksander Čeferin said: “The new Uefa club competition makes Uefa’s club competitions more inclusive than ever before. There will be more matches for more clubs, with more associations represented in the group stages.”
How will the competition work?
After the three opening rounds over the summer, which will take part over 184 teams. The competition will properly follow a similar structure to the current reiteration of the Champions League.
Therefore, thirty-two teams will qualify for the group stages, and those teams will be divided into eight groups of four. At the same time, there will then follow a traditional knockout format from the last-16 to the finals.
The knockout matches will be played in over two legs, as with other UEFA competitions, also the away goal rule will also apply in the Europa Conference League.
However, a team must win their group to automatically qualify for the knockout stages. The second-placed team in each group will advance to the knockout stage through a qualifying round, where they will face the third-placed teams from the Europa League groups. The winners of those matches will advance to the Europa Conference League last-16 round.
During the tournament, a total of 141 matches will be played over 15 weeks. The tournament winner will be guaranteed a place in the Europa League for the following season.
How many English teams will qualify?
In the Europa Conference League, only one English team can qualify. The winner of the Carabao Cup or, if it has already qualified for the Champions League or Europa League, the Premier League’s sixth or seventh-placed team.
Which Premier League Will Qualify this year?
Since Manchester City won the Carabao Cup and will automatically qualify for the Champions League next season. The spot in the inaugural Europa Conference League will be awarded to the team that finishes first in the Premier League and has not yet qualified for a Uefa competition (ie Champions League and Europa League).
However, given the latest Premier League standings, West Ham, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, and Arsenal are all contenders. Two of them will qualify for the Europa League, while one will qualify for the new European competition.
Tottenham is currently occupying seventh place with three matches left to play. On the other hand, Everton are just a point behind with a game in hand against Aston Villa. Arsenal still have a chance to qualify for this new league after beating Chelsea but they are a point behind with a game in hand, along with two games to play and a horrendous goal difference.