Tuesday 6 December 2016

Leicester secure Champions League group stage spot

Published 20/04/2016 | 12:00

Claudio Ranieri wil lead Leicester in the Champions League next season
Claudio Ranieri wil lead Leicester in the Champions League next season

Premier League leaders Leicester City have secured their place in next season's Champions League group stage.

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Following Manchester City's 1-1 draw at Newcastle last night, Leicester are guaranteed a top-three finish with Man City and Arsenal now unable to catch Claudio Ranieri's men.

Finishing in the top three earns Leicester direct entry to the group stage of Europe's top competition and guarantees them at least three home and three away fixtures.

In the process, Leicester have become the sixth side to guarantee their place in the group stage, following in the footsteps of Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and PSG.

Leicester had already booked their spot in the Champions League qualifying rounds earlier this month following their 2-0 win over Sunderland and Spurs' success over Manchester United.

They last played in Europe in the 2000-01 Uefa Cup, and never previously got beyond the first round in continental competition in three campaigns.

Their debut appearance came in the 1961-62 European Cup Winners' Cup, when they beat Glenavon in the preliminary round before losing 3-1 on aggregate to Atletico Madrid in the first round. They then lost to Atletico again, 4-1 on aggregate, in the 1997-98 UEFA Cup.

In 2000-01, they were knocked out 4-2 on aggregate by Red Star Belgrade.

If Leicester win the Premier League they will be seeded in next season's Champions League group stage draw along with the champions of Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, Russia and the title holders.

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