Chelsea and Tottenham could face three new teams in Champions League group stage ahead of draw – Football.London

Benfica, Viktoria Plzen and Z have qualified to be drawn in the UEFA Champions League group stage following success in the playoff rounds. And now, therefore, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have three new opponents to consider ahead of the group stage draw on Thursday.

The Portuguese giants claimed their place in the Champions League with a 5-0 aggregate win over Dynamo Kyiv. Meanwhile, Viktoria Plzen won secured a place with a 2-1 win in the second leg over Qarabag FK.

Maccabi Haifa earned their place in the Champions League group stage in dramatic fashion after a Crvena Zvezda’s own goal in stoppage time saw the two-legged playoff tie finish 5-4. Three more clubs will be entered into the draw, with a second day of games being played tomorrow night; Dinamo Zagreb versus Bodo Glimt, PSV versus Rangers and Trabzonspor versus FC Copenhagen.

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The six qualifying clubs will be added to pots three or four, with Chelsea and Tottenham in pot two. The Champions League group stage draw will be made in Instanbul, Turkey, on Thursday, September 25 at 18:00 CET (17:00 GMT).

The draw will feature 26 automatic qualifiers and six play-off round winners whose identity will be confirmed by UEFA on August 23 and August 24. It will be broadcasted live on BT Sport for viewers in the United Kingdom. There will also be a live stream on the UEFA website and social media channels.

This season’s Champions League campaign is set to be one of the final competitions before a new format takes place in 2024/25. UEFA have discussed the prospect of creating a ‘mini-tournament’ with four Champions League teams to start the season, according to The Associated Press in May.

UEFA’s proposal follows their decision to rethink the Champions League qualification process. The competition, as supporters know it, is set to undergo a controversial makeover despite incredible uproar among fanbases and domestic leagues.

The original proposal for the revamped format that starts in the 2024/25 season would have given teams like Arsenal – clubs that failed to qualify for European competitions via their league finish. It would have been a potential backdoor into the Champions League thanks to UEFA’s club coefficient leaderboards, which rank sides based on performances in UEFA competitions over the previous five seasons.

Europe’s leading sides and UEFA have come together and are set to agree on a comprise, according to The Athletic. The general consensus was that now only one season would be taken into account, though, of course, with historical records still in mind.

All in all, should either Chelsea or Spurs reach the final of the Champions League this season, it’ll be played at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium on June 10.

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