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Premier League sides could be forced to DITCH next season’s League Cup

Premier League sides could be forced to DITCH next season’s League Cup with Champions League and Europa League games set to clash due to pile-up caused by Covid-19 crisis

  • The Premier League’s top seven may be forced to sit out of the League Cup
  • Release of dates for European competition in 2020-21 complicates involvement
  • A condensed calendar is likely to cause European and League Cup overlaps 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Most of the Premier League’s biggest clubs could be forced to sit out the League Cup next season due to potential fixture clashes with European competition.

UEFA have announced the dates for the 2020-21 Champions League and Europa League, and due to the late start of the season due to the delay in the current campaign caused by the coronavirus crisis, there is likely to significant fixture pile-up.

Both European competitions will have six group-stage matchdays between October and December. With the Premier League running a condensed season and international football breaks also to be squeezed in, that is likely to cause overlapping European and League Cup matchdays.

Manchester City won the Carabao Cup this season but may not be able to defend it next year

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool side may well have to choose between Europe or the Carabao Cup

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side may well have to choose between Europe or the Carabao Cup

That would leave clubs such as Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester, Chelsea and Manchester United little option but to play in the far more lucrative European competitions and ditch the League Cup.

An alternative could be the EFL allowing these clubs to play youth teams in their cup competition, which would hit the integrity of the competition.

The League Cup is a vital revenue stream for its smaller clubs so cancelling the competition is thought to be unthinkable.

Should the biggest sides miss the League Cup, the EFL would look to secure compensation as part of a £250million rescue package from the Premier League, according to The Times.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could see overlaps in matchdays next season

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could see overlaps in matchdays next season

CONFIRMED EUROPEAN ROUND DATES FOR THE 2020-21 SEASON

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFYING  

08/08/2020–11/08/2020 Preliminary round

18/08/2020–19/08/2020 First qualifying round

25/08/2020–26/08/2020 Second qualifying round

15/09/2020–16/09/2020 Third qualifying round

22/09/2020–30/09/2020 Play-offs

GROUP STAGE

20/10/2020–21/10/2020 Matchday 1

27/10/2020–28/10/2020 Matchday 2

03/11/2020–04/11/2020 Matchday 3

24/11/2020–25/11/2020 Matchday 4

01/12/2020–02/12/2020 Matchday 5

08/12/2020–09/12/2020 Matchday 6

KNOCKOUT STAGES 

16/02/2021–17/03/2021 Round of 16

06/04/2021–14/04/2021 Quarter-finals

27/04/2021–05/05/2021 Semi-finals

29/05/2021 Final 

EUROPA LEAGUE QUALIFYING

20/08/2020 Preliminary round

27/08/2020 First qualifying round

17/09/2020 Second qualifying round

24/09/2020 Third qualifying round

01/10/2020 Play-offs

GROUP STAGE

22/10/2020 Matchday 1

29/10/2020 Matchday 2

05/11/2020 Matchday 3

26/11/2020 Matchday 4

03/12/2020 Matchday 5

10/12/2020 Matchday 6

KNOCKOUT STAGES

18/02/2021–25/02/2021 Round of 32

11/03/2021–18/03/2021 Round of 16

08/04/2021–15/04/2021 Quarter-finals

29/04/2021–06/05/2021 Semi-finals

26/05/2021 Final

 

 

The group stage for the 2021-22 Champions League will start on October 20. Qualifying will start on August 8 for the continent’s smallest clubs, running through to the play-offs, which will feature the more high-profile clubs and will take place between September 22-30.

Europa League qualifying, which had been due to begin on June 25, will now run from August 20 to October 1, the date set for the play-offs. 

The competition proper starts on October 22.

The top four teams in the Premier League this season will qualify for the Champions League – currently that is Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester and Chelsea.

The FA Cup winners, the Carabao Cup winners and the fifth-placed side in the Premier League go into the Europa League. Manchester United are currently in that league position.

Chris Wilder's Sheffield United will earn a spot in Europe if they finish the season still in sixth

Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United will earn a spot in Europe if they finish the season still in sixth

Wolves are pushing to reach Europe once again and that could complicate the League Cup

Wolves are pushing to reach Europe once again and that could complicate the League Cup

As City have already won the Carabao Cup this season, sixth place in the Premier League this season will also qualify for the Europa League – that is currently Sheffield United.

If a club who has already qualified for Europe through league position wins the FA Cup, then seventh place in the Premier League will be enough to earn a Europa League spot. Currently that place is occupied by Wolves.

UEFA also confirmed plans to finish this season’s Champions League with a mini-tournament in Lisbon over 12 days in August. 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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