European cups-2017/18: On the way to Kiev and Lyon


Photo: Reuters

In the upcoming European season two Ukrainian club – “Shakhtar” and “dawn” – guaranteed to perform at key stages of the competition, and three more – “Dinamo”, “Olympic” and “Alexandria” – will have to start from the 3rd qualifying round.

And finishes the season 2017/18 in may the finals of the Europa League and Lyon in the Champions League in Kiev.

As you know, with the season-2015/16 in the system of draw of the European club tournaments have been some changes. They touched and participation in the competition of our clubs. Previously, the mission of Ukraine amounted to six clubs (two in the Champions League and four in the Europa League), but UEFA the season before last lowered the maximum number of clubs from one country in the Europa League to three.

So now, like a year ago, at the start of the European Cup will be released five Ukrainian teams. To represent Ukraine in European competitions in the upcoming season will be “miner”, “Dynamo”, “dawn”, “Olympic” and “Alexandria”. The miners will receive a guaranteed place in the group stage of the Champions League, and “dawn” for the second year in a row will be in the group stage of the Europa League.

Note that such a representation was made possible thanks to the eighth place of Ukraine in the UEFA coefficients table (2011/12 – 2015/16).

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

In the main European club competition, as we have long been accustomed to, will be attended by the champion and Vice-champion of Ukraine. And “Shakhtar” will not participate in the qualifying rounds. But “Dinamo” will play in the “tournament 15”, that is the way the group is required to leave behind two rivals. Given the fact that people at all stages of selection will be among the “seeded”, hope to see in the main part of the prestigious competition, two Ukrainian teams are not without reason.

Recall two innovations that UEFA made the rules of the main European Cup tournament before last season. First, now the winner of the Europa League gets the right to play in the Champions League. And it starts right from the group stage. So the winner of the Europa League-2016/17 “Manchester United” will become the fifth English club in the main club tournament of the Old world.

The second major change relates to seed of the group stage. Before all the baskets were formed in accordance with the club coefficients, and the winner of the Champions League last season automatically ranked first “top seed”. Now the first basket will be the Champions of the countries occupying in the index table 1-7 place and the winner of the Champions League (this year real Madrid won the Champions League and the Spanish League has released the quota for the 8th country – Ukraine), and the rest of the basket will be formed by the club coefficients.

As usual in the group stage of the Champions League will bring together 32 teams divided into 8 groups (divorce clubs-countrymen, as well as clubs in Ukraine and Russia). In each group 4 teams will play in two rounds, to reach the playoffs, you need to take one of first two places. In addition, took the third place in the Champions League go to the playoffs of the Europa League.

The playoffs in the Champions League will start from 1/8 final. At this stage, before the draw of the participants will be divided into two baskets – the group winners and the team that took second place. As always the first stage of the playoffs will be divided into representatives of one country and the teams playing in the same group.

EUROPA LEAGUE

In this tournament, Ukraine will be represented by three clubs: bronze medalist at the “dawn” starts with the group stage and Marseille (fourth season) and “Alexandria” (fifth) is the 3rd qualifying round. Breakthrough of any of the Ukrainian clubs from the qualification to the group stage could be seen as a pleasant sensation.

Note that now there are no teams, which start from the 4th qualifying round. Also change the format of the competition was related to the number of clubs directly entering the group stage. Recall that in season 2014/15, group stage without selection has been a winner the previous season and the winner of the Cup of countries, taking in the UEFA coefficients table, the first six places (dual qualification “Seville” made a place for seventh, which occupied Ukraine and so the “Dynamo” did not pass screening). Now, as the seats in the main stage of the tournament will get teams of 12 countries from the top of the odds table, with “top group” delegates at the two clubs.

The season-2016/17 abolished the nomination “fair play” and the winners of the European competition berths replaced prize.

Recall that UEFA has decided not to make it to the Europa League finalists of the domestic Cups (before the finalists were replaced winners ‘ Cup if they qualified for the Champions League).

So the 16 clubs can already prepare for the group stage, and the rest is waiting for the qualifying part. After four qualifying rounds will decide the 48 teams that will compete in 12 groups. In each group 4 teams will play in two rounds, to reach the playoffs, you need to take one of first two places. In the playoffs of the Europa League involves 32 teams, so the game shootout and will start from 1/16 finals. Baskets will be two: one for group winners, the second – for second place. But the third team of the group stage of the Champions League will be, depending on the results, divided into best and worst. The four best will go in the first basket, the four worst in the second. Thus, she will get 16 teams in each basket. As in the Champions League at the first stage of the playoffs will be divided into representatives of one country and the teams playing in the same group.

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The above table the participants of the European Cup requires some explanation, which we present below.

Belgium. One place in the Europa League have been played in the games special in the playoffs at the end of the championship (participated in “Ostend”, which took fourth place, and the group winners of the second stage for 7-14 places, “Sint-Truiden” and “Genk”). Euro Cup ticket won “Oostende”, beaten in the final of Genk (3:1).

Holland. One place in the Europa League have been played in the games special in the playoffs at the end of the championship (participated the teams ranked 5-8). Euro Cup ticket won “Utrecht”, which defeated “Heerenveen” (3:1 and 1:2), then AZ (0:3, 3:0, pen. – 4:3).

Greece. The second representative in the Champions League, and also the starting rounds of the members of the League of Europe was determined by the results of the additional tournament at the end of the championship (participated the teams ranked 2-5). Finished in the championship in second place PAOK, not able to confirm the level of claims, giving the permit in League of Champions AEK.

Romania. The winner of the Cup of Romania “voluntary” licensing. For the same reason will not play in the European competitions CFR (4th place in the championship).

Bulgaria. CSKA Sofia (2nd place in the championship) suspended by decision of the Finance Committee of UEFA.

Kosovo. The winner of the Cup of the “Devil” has not received a license to participate in European tournaments.

The first draw for the new European Cup season scheduled for June 19, and we with impatience will wait for July 14, when the draw will determine the first opponents of the Ukrainian clubs. In late July, will start the Dynamo, Marseille and Alexandria, and in mid-September, will begin performances Shakhtar and Zorya. So a new club battle on the fields of Europe is not far off. The time will fly by quickly.

Add that with a season-2018/19 to the regulations of European Cup competitions will be significant changes relating to the provision of places in group tournaments and schemes of the qualifying rounds. But that’s another story.

Alexander PRESIC, Sport-Express in Ukraine

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