We look at how the club finals could shape next season’s UEFA Champions League, with Ajax and Manchester United knowing victory in Stockholm would guarantee a group place.
• The UEFA Champions League winners are guaranteed a 2017/18 group place regardless of where they finish in their domestic league.
• The UEFA Europa League winners enter the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League play-off league route unless EITHER they are already qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage via their domestic league OR the UEFA Champions League winners are already qualified for the group stage via their domestic league, creating a vacancy which would be filled by the UEFA Europa League winners going straight into the group stage.
• Due to the above criteria, as both Real Madrid and Juventus have clinched group places already, the UEFA Europa League winners would enter the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• England will have five UEFA Champions League places next season if Manchester United win the UEFA Europa League as they finished outside the top four in the Premier League.
• As Ajax have finished inside the UEFA Champions League qualifying places in their domestic league, the Netherlands would not receive an extra berth if Ajax won the UEFA Europa League.
• In all cases, if the access list needs to be adjusted for vacancies created in any round once all the participants are known and admitted, priority for the UEFA Champions League will be given to the winners of the domestic championship (in accordance with the entry stage as per the access list). The adjusted list will be announced when decided by UEFA.
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Juventus v Real Madrid (Cardiff)
• Juventus have already qualified for the group stage via their domestic league, thereby would create a vacancy in the group stage.
• To fill that vacancy, the UEFA Europa League winners would definitely enter the group stage.
• The third-placed Italian side would enter the play-offs, league route in accordance with the 2017/18 access list.
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE: Ajax v Manchester United (Stockholm)
• Ajax have finished second in the Eredivisie, which would take them into the UEFA Champions League play-offs, league route. But they will receive the vacant group place by winning the UEFA Europa League.
• Champions Feyenoord would still enter the group stage. The Netherlands would not receive a third berth.
• United, who finished fifth in England, would enter the UEFA Champions League group stage by winning in Stockholm.
• The English top three (Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City) would play in the group stage and the fourth-placed side (Liverpool) would enter the play-offs, league route regardless of where United would start in the competition. England would therefore have five entrants in the UEFA Champions League.