Saturday 20 January 2018

Revealed - Why Manchester United's Europa League win was crucial to their Champions League seeding

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho with the trophy as he celebrates winning the UEFA Europa League Final at the Friends Arena in Stockholm
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho with the trophy as he celebrates winning the UEFA Europa League Final at the Friends Arena in Stockholm
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United will be second seeds in next season’s Champions League, after securing their place in the competition with their Europa League win on Wednesday night.

Jose Mourinho’s side may have finished seven points behind Liverpool in the Premier League this season, but their success in Europe’s second tier competition has been beneficial on two fronts as it means they will not face the prospect of a potentially tricky qualifying tie to get into the group stages of the Champions League.

If United had suffered an early exit in the Europa League and then went on to secure a top four finish in the Premier League, their UEFA co-efficient points total may well have seen them fall into the third set of seeds for next season’s Champions League.

However, they huge points boost received by their Europa League win has propelled them up the ranking table, which may be crucial when their fate in the competition is revealed in August.

Being ranked amongst the second seeds is a huge boost United’s hopes of progress, as it means they will avoid clashes with Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund and FC Porto.

They will be drawn against one of the top seeds in the competition, which may mean Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Juventus are added to the Old Trafford guest list in the first half of the 2017/18 season, yet Monaco, Spartak Moscow, Benfica and Shakhtar Donetsk could be more favourable draws from the top pot.

Defeated Europa League finalists Ajax will be among the third seeds in the Champions League draw, where there will be joined by Tottenham and Liverpool, if Jurgen Klopp’s side come through their qualifying tie.

Scottish champions Celtic will be among the fourth seeded clubs in the Champions League, if they come through their qualifying games.

United’s qualification for the Champions League ensures there will be five English teams in the competition next season, with just Arsenal and Everton now qualifying from England for the Europa League.

The group stage draw for the Champions League will take place on August 24th, with next year’s final, that will be staged in Kiev’s Olympic Stadium.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEEDS

Seeded: Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Benfica, Chelsea, Shakhtar Donetsk, Monaco, Spartak Moscow

Pot 2 (list to be finalised): Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla*, Man City, FC Porto, Man United

Pot 3 (list to be finalised): Napoli*, Tottenham, FC Basel, Dynamo Kiev*, Ajax*, Olympiakos*, Anderlecht, Liverpool*

* Need to progress through qualifying rounds

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