Champions League rule change that could impact Newcastle United, Man United & Liverpool revealed

The Champions League is set to undergo a format change for the 2024-25 season.
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UEFA have confirmed that the Champions League will consist of 36 teams instead of 32 in a ‘Swiss league’ format. This means the eight groups of four teams will be scrapped in favour of a giant 36 team league limited to just eight games against differently seeded opposition.

One of the four extra places will be filled by the third placed team from the nation ranked fifth in UEFA’s coefficient, which is currently France, heading straight into the group stages.

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Another place will be through the ‘champions path’ qualifying route, guaranteeing another league champion in the group stage.

The final two places, will be given to counties whose clubs collectively performed the best in Europe in the previous season and will be awarded on league position. This means, should English clubs perform well in Europe, fifth place in the Premier League could earn a Champions League spot.

This will be a boost to many Premier League sides including Newcastle United, who will be hoping to qualify for the Champions League for the second season running and Liverpool, who missed out on qualification after finishin fifth.

While the new ‘Swiss league’ format is not new information, UEFA have since confirmed how the knockout stage of the competition will work.

The new Champions League knockout stage

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All 36 teams will be ranked based on their eight match performance with the top 24 teams advancing to the knockout stage.

Teams ranked 1st to 8th will automatically qualify for the last-16 of the competition and will be seeded so that the teams ranked 1st and 2nd will be at opposite sides of the bracket so they cannot meet until the final.

Teams ranked 9th to 24th will enter a play-off round to qualify for the last-16 in a seeded system - for example 9th will face 24th, 10th will face 23rd etc.

This means teams could end up playing four more Champions League matches than they previously would have in the competition.

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The group stage will run from September to January with the knockout play-off matches taking place in mid February ahead of the last-16 matches in March. Quarter final matches will take place in April with the semi-finals taking place in late April and early May ahead of the final on May 31.