West Ham hand Tottenham huge Champions League boost after Freiburg thrashing

By Staff

West Ham’s 5-0 win over Freiberg in the Europa League could hand help Tottenham Hotspur find an unexpected route into next season’s Champions League, as UEFA prepares to shuffle its premier competition.

The 2024/25 season will see the Champions League expanded from 32 to 36 teams, with the introduction of a ‘Swiss’ format seeing the typical four-team group formation abandoned. Instead, teams will play eight matches against eight different opponents in a 36-team league format, four home and four away.

As a result, two of the four extra places offered by UEFA will be awarded to the best-ranking leagues in European competitions at the end of the current campaign, which is likely to be between England, Italy, France or Germany. That would spell good news for Tottenham and their ambitions of returning to the Champions League as they currently sit fifth in the Premier League table after a resounding 4-0 win over Aston Villa last time out.

The two remaining places will go to the third-place team in the domestic league ranked fifth, while the final place will be awarded to the qualifying path for champions, who will see their number of places increase from four to five.

The two best-performing leagues in Europe will be decided by their UEFA coefficient at the end of the campaign, a system that sees teams rewarded for winning or drawing games and progressing into the later stages of a competition. All points earned by clubs are totalled and then divided by how many participants that country has; in England’s case their total score would be divided by eight, with participants across the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League.

Heading into Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday’s European action, Italy and Germany sat top of the coefficient rankings, with England in third. Since then, Arsenal defeated FC Porto in a dramatic second-leg penalty shootout to secure their advancement to the quarter-final stages of the Champions League for the first time since 2010.

However, Germany’s points total was boosted as Borussia Dortmund defeated PSV Eindhoven 2-0 at the Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Italy also saw AC Milan progress through to the last eight of the Europa League after thrashing Slavia Prague on Thursday.

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But in defeating Bundesliga side Freiberg at the Olympic Stadium on West Ham, the Hammers are putting England in a very strong position to close the 0.875 gap that stood between the two nations at the start of the week.

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