Europa League 2019/20 Guide: British Clubs9 min read
Arsenal – 5th Premier League
Arsenal will compete in the Europa League in 2019/20 after losing the final of last season’s competition against Chelsea.
They will start their campaign in the group stage. That would leave them needing to play 15 matches in the competition in order to win it.
Manchester United – 6th Premier League
Victory for local rivals Manchester City in last season’s FA Cup final was, in some ways, good news for United.
It means they will now start their Europa League campaign in the group stage and are spared the rigours of qualifying.
That surely improves their chances of winning the trophy for the second time in four seasons when the final is staged in Gdansk, Poland, next May.
Wolves – 7th Premier League
Wolves are beneficiaries of Manchester City’s domestic Treble success.
Their League Cup and FA Cup triumphs meant European spots in the Premier League went all the way down to seventh – Wolves’ finishing position.
They started their first Euro campaign since 1980/81 in the second qualifying round on July 25 against Crusaders FC of Northern Ireland, beating them 6-1 on aggregate. Their next opponents are Italian side Torino in the play-offs.
If Wolves are to compete in the final, they will have to play a total of 21 Europa matches. That would result in a season with a minimum of 61 games – 15 more than their 2018/19 campaign.
Celtic – 1st Scottish Premier League
The Scottish champions’ hopes of playing in the Champions League group stages were ended by Romanian champions CFR Cluj who progress to the final play-off round.
Celtic now have the consolation of dropping into the Europa League play-off round and can reach the group stage proper if they overcome a two-legged tie against AIK of Sweden.
Rangers – 2nd Scottish Premier League
If Scotland were two places further up UEFA’s coefficient ranking, Rangers would have received a bye into the second qualifying round.
As it is, like their fellow Europa qualifiers from Scotland, Rangers’ campaign started at the first qualifying round stage.
That meant a first game of the season on July 11 against St Joseph’s of Gibraltar – three and half weeks before the Premier League season began on August 3. The Gers now need to get the better of Legia Warsaw over two legs to reach the group stages.
At least Rangers and boss Steven Gerrard are now used to such an early start – they entered this season’s competition at the same point and successfully won four two-legged ties to qualify for the group stage.
The benefit of a first-round bye looks set to return in 2020/21 with Scotland having moved further up the ranking list thanks to the efforts of Rangers and Celtic in Europe this season.
Kilmarnock – 3rd Scottish Premier League
Kilmarnock booked European qualification by beating Rangers 2-1 on the final day of the season to secure a third-place finish in the Premiership.
Like Rangers, they entered the competition at the first qualifying round stage against Welsh side Connah’s Quay on July 11, but were defeated 3-2 on aggregate and are now eliminated.
Connah’s Quay have now fallen at the second hurdle of qualifying after being well-beaten by Serbian giants Partizan Belgrade.
Aberdeen – 4th Scottish Premier League
Scottish Cup final victory for Celtic over Hearts ensured Aberdeen became Scotland’s final representative in European competition this season.
With Celtic having already qualified for Europe by winning the Premiership, their Cup winners’ spot filtered down to the fourth-finishing Dons, but their hope of playing in the UEL group stages in 2019/20 has ended after a 3rd qualifying round defeat to Rijeka of Croatia.
It is worth noting that any Scottish club qualifying for Europe gets a bye to the last 16 of the League Cup and thus avoids having the play in the group stage which begins on July 13-14.
Linfield – 1st Northern Ireland Premiership
One other British side who remain in the mix are the Northern Ireland Premiership champions Linfield. They face Qarabag of Azerbaijan – a team who will be remembered for qualifying for the Champions League group stage for the first time in their history two years ago – in the decisive play-off round.
Europa League draw dates:
June 11 – Preliminary round
June 18 – 2nd qualifying round (Champions path)
June 19 – 1st & 2nd qualifying round (Main path)
July 22 – 3rd qualifying round
August 5 – Play-off round
August 30 – Group stage
December 16 – Last 32
February 28 – Last 16
March 20 – Quarter-finals & semi-finals
Europa League round dates:
June 27 – Preliminary round, 1st legs
July 4 – Preliminary round, 2nd legs
July 11 – 1st qualifying round, 1st legs
July 18 – 1st qualifying round, 2nd legs
July 25 – 2nd qualifying round, 1st legs
August 1 – 2nd qualifying round, 2nd legs
August 8 – 3rd qualifying round, 1st legs
August 15 – 3rd qualifying round, 2nd legs
August 22 – Play-off round, 1st legs
August 29 – Play-off round, 2nd legs
September 19 – Group stage, matchday 1
October 3 – Group stage, matchday 2
October 24 – Group stage, matchday 3
November 7 – Group stage, matchday 4
November 28 – Group stage, matchday 5
December 12 – Group stage, matchday 6
February 20 – Last 32, 1st legs
February 27 – Last 32, 2nd legs
March 12 – Last 16, 1st legs
March 19 – Last 16, 2nd legs
April 9 – Quarter-final, 1st legs
April 16 – Quarter-final, 2nd legs
April 30 – Semi-final, 1st legs
May 7 – Semi-final, 2nd legs
May 27 – Final