Leverkusen’s Champions League standings explained – Bundesliga

Leverkusen’s Champions League standings explained – Bundesliga



Bundesliga winners Bayer Leverkusen are guaranteed to play in the UEFA Champions League in 2024/25.

Bayer Leverkusen will not automatically be seeded in Pot 1 in next season’s revamped UEFA Champions League draw, despite winning the 2023/24 Bundesliga.

In previous editions, the winners of the Champions League and the Europa League, as well as the winners of the national championship title of the top-ranked European leagues, were drawn into pot 1. However, an overhaul of the Competition involves changes to the ranking system ahead of the draw, which will instead be based on a team’s performance over the previous five seasons of European football and the resulting UEFA ranking.

Although dethroned in the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich – assuming they finish in the top four of the Bundesliga – will be one of the nine seeded clubs, since they currently occupy second place in the UEFA rankings. However, it is unrealistic to expect Leverkusen to join them. Fourteenth in the coefficient table, the set of Xabi Alonso has a greater chance of being drawn in pot 2. The winner of the Europa League – which could still be Leverkusen – is also no longer seeded in the new format.

As for the rest of the Bundesliga’s top four contenders, VfB Stuttgart would enter Pot 4, having not played in the group stage of UEFA competitions since 2012/13. RB Leipzig, however, are seventh in the current UEFA rankings and would therefore sneak into pot 1. Borussia Dortmund are fifth nationally, but 13th in the UEFA rankings (pot 2).

Watch: Highlights of Bayer Leverkusen’s title

Four could become five

Due to the UEFA Bundesliga coefficient ranking, three of these four Bundesliga clubs will follow Leverkusen in the new, expanded 36-team Champions League. However, it is possible that a fifth could succeed.

Two of the four additional places in the new format will be allocated to associations with the highest club coefficient from the previous season (in this case, 2023/24). These two associations will each gain an additional automatic place behind the clubs already qualified directly.

As of April 12, 2024, the Italian Serie A (18,428) leads the Bundesliga (16,785), just ahead of the English Premier League (16,750).

>>> How European qualification works in the Bundesliga

Bayern Munich won their sixth UEFA Champions League title in 2019/20.

New format explained

Regardless of the final constellation, the teams will play eight matches in the new league phase, instead of competing in eight groups of four. They will no longer face three opponents twice – home and away – but will instead face eight different teams, playing half of those matches at home and half away. The four seeds will determine the eight different opponents. Each team will then be drawn to face two opponents from each pot, playing one match against one team from each pot at home and one away.

The results of each match will determine the overall ranking of the new league. The top eight will qualify directly for the round of 16. Teams finishing 9th to 24th will compete in two-legged play-offs to secure their place towards the round of 16 of the competition. Ranking will apply, with teams finishing 9th through 16th versus teams ranked 17th through 24th. The eight winners of the play-offs will then face off in the round of 16 against one of the top eight in the championship.

From the round of 16 onwards, the competition will continue to follow its existing format of two-legged knockout matches, culminating in a single final on a neutral venue.

The draw for the championship stage will take place on August 29, 2024.

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