Thursday, October 21, 2021

Europa Conference League: How does it work and what do winners get?

Uefa’s newest competition, the Europa Conference League, is upon us.

The tournament effectively serves as a third-tier European competition, behind the Champions League and Europa League.

The Premier League’s sole representatives in the Europa Conference League this season are Tottenham, who qualified by finishing seventh in the English top flight last term and successfully navigating their qualifying play-off last month.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new competition.

What is it?

The Europa Conference League marks an opportunity for more teams around Europe to play one another.

It is essentially a third-tier European Competition, behind the Champions League and Europa League.

How does it work?

The Europa Conference League follows the existing formats of the Champions League and Europa League.

It begins with a group stage, which is followed by two-legged knockout rounds and a single-legged final.

Teams can qualify for the Europa Conference League through a number of different routes. In England, the Carabao Cup winners qualify, but Tottenham earned their spot in the competition as the highest finishers in the Premier League who didn’t already have a place in the Champions League or Europa League. This was because Carabao Cup winners Manchester City – who beat Spurs in the final – had already qualified for the Champions League. Some clubs enter the tournament after losing in the Europa League qualifying play-offs.

The eight groups contain four teams each, and no side can play another club from their country in the first round.

To progress to the first knockout rounds of the Europa Conference League – the last 16 – a team must finish top of their group, or finish second and then win a play-off tie against a side that finished third in their Europa League pool.

Which teams are in the competition?

What do the winners get?

The winners of the final, which takes place on 25 May at the Arena Kombetare in Albania, will qualify for next season’s Europa League – much like the Europa League winners climb into the Champions League.

How can I watch it?

BT Sport will be airing all the action live. As well as showing the matches on TV, the broadcaster will stream games for their subscribers on the BT Sport website and app.

Europa Conference League fixtures will be played at the same time as Europa League matches; on Thursday nights, with kick-offs at 5.45pm and 8pm BST.

When are the matches?

Who are the favourites?

Nuno Espirito Santo’s Tottenham are favourites to go all the way, at 5/1.
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