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The Champions League will have a new format from 2024

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The Champions League will have a new format from 2024

In an attempt to counter the threat from the breakaway league Super League, the European Football Association (Uefa) is taking tough measures around the Champions League. When the ball starts rolling in the autumn, there is a lot of news.

The new format increases the number of teams in the tournament from 32 to 36. At the same time, it should provide more important matches and bigger duels in an early phase.

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The biggest change is that all 36 teams end up in one league, instead of the well-known group stage with eight pools consisting of four teams in each.

In the initial league game, each team will play individual matches against eight different opponents. Four home and four away games are played, and the teams are drawn from four seeding levels. Each team faces two teams from each of the seeding levels – one away and one at home.

– This gives the clubs the opportunity to test themselves against a wider range of opponents, and it increases the opportunity for the fans to see the top teams meet each other more often and earlier in the competition. It will also lead to more competitive matches for each club, claims Uefa.

Here are the changes explained in detail:

Four more layers

There will be four new places in the Champions League, and they will be distributed as follows:

* One place for the team that finished third in the league numbered on the list above UEFA national club coefficients. As of now, the place would go to Monaco, which is in 3rd place in the French Ligue 1.

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* One more place for a league champion entering the tournament via the qualifiers. This eye of the needle is thus expanded from four to five layers. This means that a team like Bodø/Glimt has a somewhat greater chance of making it through the qualification.

* Two extra places to the leagues with the most points on the UEFA club coefficient list last season. For 2023/24 season Italy and Germany are at the top as of now, and these leagues would thus have five teams instead of four in the Champions League’s opening league games.

Ligasystemet

* All 36 teams are ranked in one league and play eight “league games”.

* The teams that finish in 1st to 8th place in the league go directly to the round of 16. The teams from 9th to 24th place end up in a play-off for eight places in the round of 16, where teams from 9th to 16th place meet teams from 17th to 24th place. The teams from 25th to 36th place are eliminated from the tournament and do not get a place in the Europa League either.

* Uefa has not yet clarified the details of how many teams from the Champions League will enter Europe League when they quit. It is likely that this applies to the teams that lose the replay.

* Normally, the Champions League matches will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday as before, but one exclusive Champions League week is set aside where no matches are played in the European and conference leagues. CL matches will then be played on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

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* The matches in the Champions League are played from September to January. On the last match day, all matches must be played simultaneously.

Other facts

* Norway’s entry, Bodø/Glimt, enters the second of four qualifying rounds. Five league champions and two other teams will enter the tournament via qualification.

* There will be changes in the format for the Europa League and the conference league as well. In the Europa League, the system will be similar to that in the Champions League, while the teams in the conference league will play six games each before Christmas.

* The cup game in the Champions League starts on 11 February.

* The final will be played in Munich on 31 May 2025.

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