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Champions League Braced For Huge Changes With Tennis – Style Draw To Decide Knockout Ties

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Champions League Braced For Huge Changes With Tennis – Style Draw To Decide Knockout Ties

The Champions League is often regarded as the pinnacle of European football. But the tournament that we are all accustomed to is about to undergo a massive overhaul.

It has been reported that the changes to the format will take place from the 2024/2025 season, with the knockout rounds of the Champions League mirroring the format of tennis tournaments such as Wimbledon and the US Open.

One big change will be the scrapping of the country protection rule, which means that teams from the same country, for example, Liverpool and Manchester City or Barcelona and Real Madrid, can face each other in the early knockout rounds.

ESPN has reported that the 24 teams who make it into the knockout rounds of the competition will have their potential route to the final seeded and pre drawn, based on where they finished in the group stage. Very much similar to what the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal experience in tennis tournaments.

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The top two teams in the group stage will not be drawn in the same section of the draw, they will not be able to meet each other until the final.

This comes after the decision was made to expand the teams participating in the Champions League from 32 to 36, instead of multiple groups of four, there will be one league table containing all participants.

The format of the knockout rounds is yet to be finalised, but it is believed that the tennis style format is favoured by most.

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ESPN has reported that the revamp of the Champions League features:

- A final, 36 team group stage table, that ranks teams from 1-24 based on how well they performed

- Teams that rank 1-8 in this group stage table are effectively seeded and enter in the round of 16, just like the group stage winners are under the current format

- Teams ranked 9-24 play a knockout playoff round to reach the round of 16 and teams that finish 25-36 will be eliminated from Europe altogether

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- The knockout bracket will be split in two, with the teams ranked 1, 3, 5 and 7 in one half and 2, 4, 6 and 8 in the other.

- The best performing clubs in the group stage, ranks 1 and 2, will be drawn into positions at the opposite end of the bracket, thus unable to meet each other until the final

- Teams ranked 3 & 4, 5 & 6 and 7 & 8 will also be paired and have set positions in opposite halves of the bracket

More changes are believed to be on the way but there’s still a long way to go before the they are introduced, plenty of time to get familiarised with the new format of the Champions League.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Champions League

Marcus Chan
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