The UEFA Europa League comprises three qualifying rounds, a play-off round, a group stage and five knockout rounds.
In matches in the three qualifying rounds and the play-offs, clubs play two matches against each other on a home-and-away basis. The club which scores the greater aggregate of goals qualifies for the next round, with away goals and then penalties used to determine the winner in the event of a draw.
The play-off round winners join the ten losers from the UEFA Champions League play-offs and automatic entrants. The clubs are split into 12 groups of four teams, playing home and away against each of their pool opponents between September and December. Two sides from each section advance, proceeding into the round of 32 alongside eight third-placed teams from the UEFA Champions League group stage.
From the last 32 until the semi-finals, clubs play two games against each other on a home-and-away basis with the same rules as the qualifying and play-off rounds applied. In the last 32, group winners and the four third-placed sides from the UEFA Champions League with the best records are seeded, guaranteeing they will play the second leg at home. Teams from the same group or the same association cannot be drawn together. From the round of 16 onwards the draw is free.
The final is decided by a single match, which this season will be played at the Juventus Arena, Turin on Wednesday 14 May 2014.
Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, can be found in the official competition regulations.
Juventus Stadium will stage the final of the UEFA Europa League at 20.45CET on Wednesday 14 May 2014, with the new home of Turin's most famous footballing export having opened in September 2011.
The 41,000-capacity arena stands on the site of the old Stadio Delle Alpi (Stadium of the Alps) which had been inaugurated in 1990 to host matches at that summer's FIFA World Cup. Juventus bought the old stadium, which they once shared with local rivals Torino FC, from the local authorities in order to build their new home. They are the first major Italian club to own their own ground.
Founded in 1897, La Vecchia Signore (the old lady) have won 29 Italian titles and nine Italian Cups as well as all three of UEFA's major club tournaments: the European Champion Clubs' Cup/UEFA Champions League in 1984/85 and 1995/96; the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1983/84; and the UEFA Cup in 1976/77, 1989/90 and 1992/93. Only AFC Ajax and FC Bayern München can also claim this feat.
Turin has never witnessed a single-game final in one of Europe's top club competitions, although eight previous finals – all in the European Cup – have taken place in Italy: four at Rome's Stadio Olimpico, three at San Siro in Milan and one at Bari's Stadio San Nicola. Juventus's three UEFA Cup successes were contested over two legs: the first two saw them play at the Stadio Comunale, with only the last one, in 1992/93, being partially decided at the Stadio Delle Alpi.
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