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Guide through the European maze: who moves on to which round after New Year’s? | European football

With the arrival of the Conference League, more teams will have the opportunity to show themselves on the European stage, but it has made the group stage a lot more complicated. Where do you end up as a club if you finish 2nd in the Europa League and what is the advantage of becoming a group winner? An overview.

1. Champions League

Nothing has changed in the Champions League system:

  • The numbers 1 and 2 of each group will advance to the 1/8th finals
  • The group winner is seed in the draw
  • The number 3 qualifies for the play-offs (say the 1/16th finals) of the Europa League
  • The European adventure is over for the number 4
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2. Europa League

Contrary to previous years, 3 teams are wintering in each group of the Europa League:

  • The group winner can go straight to the 1/8th finals of the Europa League (and thus skips the play-offs)
  • The number 2 qualifies for the play-offs of the Europa League (1/16th finals) and will face a number 3 of the Champions League
  • The number 3 qualifies for the Conference League play-offs (1/16th finals) and will face a number 2 of the Conference League
  • The number 4 is off
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3. Conference League

The Conference League is a new league. Unlike the Champions League and Europa League, only the top 2 make it through here

  • The group winner can go straight to the 1/8th finals of the Conference League
  • The number 2 plays a play-off (1/16th final) against a number 3 from the Europa League
  • For numbers 3 and 4 the story is over
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