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Coefficient rankings: How race for fifth Champions League place is hotting up

Coefficient rankings: How race for fifth Champions League place is hotting up

It’s a big week for coefficients and the Premier League’s hopes of having a fifth team in next season’s UEFA Champions League.

Two leagues will get an extra place in the competition based on performances in Europe this season, which are measured by the coefficient rankings.

But how do the coefficient rankings work? Where’s the Premier League in the rankings? What fixtures could be crucial to deciding the coefficient rankings? And will a Premier League team get an extra Champions League place next season?

We answer everything you need to know…

What is the coefficient ranking?

The coefficient rankings are determined by points gained from clubs across the current season’s UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League.

Teams get coefficient points for winning games and reaching different stages of the competitions.

For example, a match win in any of the three European competitions at any stage after qualifying is worth two points and a draw is worth one point.

Teams that make the last 16 of the Champions League get five bonus points, and then one more point for each further round. Teams in the Europa League get one bonus point for each round from the last 16, and in the Conference League there is one bonus point on offer for reaching the semi-final and final.

The total amount of coefficient points gained by clubs from a league are then added together and that score is divided by the number of clubs that league has in Europe in the season.

The Premier League has had eight clubs in Europe this season and has a total of 117 coefficient points. Therefore the coefficient average is currently 14.625 (117 ÷ 8).

What are the current coefficient rankings?

Italy (16.571) and Germany (15.500) currently lead the coefficient rankings and sit in the two spots that will secure an extra place in next season’s Champions League.

England (14.625) is in third place ahead of France (14.416) and Spain (13.437).

With France only having three teams left in European competition it looks like being a three-way battle between Italy, Germany and England for the two top places.

Italy currently have six teams remaining in Europe – Inter Milan (CL), Napoli (CL), Atalanta (EL), AC Milan (EL), Roma (EL) and Fiorentina (ECL) – while Germany have four – Bayern Munich (CL), Borussia Dortmund (CL), Bayer Leverkusen (EL) and Freiburg (EL).

There are six English teams remaining but that number could soon be reduced.

Coeffecient positionLeagueCoeffecient average
6Czech Republic13.000

Manchester City booked their place in the last eight of the UEFA Champions League with victory over Copenhagen, but Arsenal trail Porto 1-0 ahead of the second leg of their last-16 clash.

Liverpool look set to advance to the quarters of the Europa League as they lead Sparta Prague 5-1 after the first leg.

However, West Ham and Brighton are both trailing in ties against England’s coefficient rivals.

West Ham lost the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie 1-0 to Freiburg, giving Germany a boost, while Brighton were thrashed 4-0 by Italian side Roma.

Aston Villa are in the Conference League and drew 0-0 against Ajax in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

What fixtures could decide the coefficient rankings?

There is still plenty to play for in the coefficient battle.

Germany already have Bayern Munich through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and Borussia Dortmund could join them as they are level at 1-1 with PSV after the first leg of their tie.

If Dortmund do progress and Freiburg and Bayer Leverkusen also advance in the Europa League that will be a significant boost for Germany.

Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool look like the biggest English contenders to help the coefficient, although West Ham and Aston Villa will also be hoping to make deep European runs.

Italy is in a strong position at the top of the rankings and could close on a top-two place if Napoli and Inter Milan beat Barcelona and Atletico Madrid respectively to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

Why are extra Champions League places available?

The Champions League is changing next season to a format that will see 36 clubs participate in a new league phase.

The increase to 36 teams means four extra spaces are available.

  • The team ranked third in the league table of the country in fifth place in the national coefficient standings
  • A domestic champion by extending from four to five the number of clubs qualifying via the ‘Champions Path’
  • Two teams whose associations are in the top two places in the season’s coefficient rankings. The places will go to the next-best teams outside the automatic league qualifying places (so fifth place in the Premier League)

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