UEFA Europa League qualifying explained

Need some light shone on the UEFA Europa League qualifying system? Allow us to explain.

Chelsea celebrate their victory in the 2019 UEFA Europa League final
Chelsea celebrate their victory in the 2019 UEFA Europa League final ©Getty Images

Qualifying for the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League spans more than two months; allow us to break it down step by step.

THIS SEASON'S CALENDAR

Preliminary round

UEFA.tv: Always Football. Always On.
UEFA.tv: Always Football. Always On.

Draw: 11 June
Fixtures: 27 June & 4 July

Teams: 14
Already known: 14

How it works
There will be seven two-legged preliminary round ties, with the winners proceeding to the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round. The losers bow out of Europe.

First qualifying round

Draw: 18 June
Fixtures: 11 & 18 July

Teams: 94
Already known: 87
Unknown: 7 (UEFA Europa League preliminary round winners)

See how Chelsea won the 2019 final
See how Chelsea won the 2019 final

How it works
There are 47 two-legged first qualifying round ties, with the winners proceeding to the main path of the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round. The losers bow out of Europe.

Second qualifying round

At this stage, qualifying splits into two paths – the champions path and the main path. The champions path is for domestic title holders eliminated at various stages of UEFA Champions League qualifying; the main path is comprised initially of automatic entrants and winners from the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round, with two teams later joining from the league route of UEFA Champions League qualifying in the third qualifying round.

Draw: 19 June
Fixtures: 25 July & 1 August

Champions path

Top ten goals of the 2018/19 season
Top ten goals of the 2018/19 season

Teams: 19
Already known: 0
Unknown: 19 (16 losers of the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round; 3 losers of the UEFA Champions League preliminary round)

How it works
An additional draw on 18 June decided one team given a bye to the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round (the loser of the game between Celtic and Sarajevo). That leaves 18 sides to contest nine two-legged fixtures, with the winners progressing to the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round. The losers will be out of Europe.

Main path

Teams: 74
Already known: 27
Unknown: 47 (UEFA Europa League first qualifying round winners)

Qualifying runs from June to August 2019
Qualifying runs from June to August 2019©UEFA via Getty Images

How it works
There will be 37 two-legged ties, with the winners going into the main path of the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round. The losers will be out of Europe.

Third qualifying round

Draw: 22 July
Fixtures: 8 & 15 August

Champions path

Teams: 20
Already known: 0
Unknown: 20 (10 champions path winners of the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round; 10 champions path losers of the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round)

How it works
There will be ten two-legged ties, with the winners going into the UEFA Europa League champions path play-offs. The losers will be out of Europe.

Main path

A total of 178 teams will take part in qualifying
A total of 178 teams will take part in qualifying©UEFA via Getty Images

Teams: 52
Already known: 13
Unknown: 39 (37 main path winners of the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round; 2 league path losers of the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round)

How it works
There will be 26 two-legged ties, with the winners going into the UEFA Europa League main path play-offs. The losers will be out of Europe.

Play-offs

Draw: 5 August
Fixtures: 22 & 29 August

Champions path

Teams: 16
Already known: 0
Unknown: 16 (10 champions path winners of the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round; 6 champions path losers of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round)

The final will be held at Gdansk Stadium on 27 May 2020
The final will be held at Gdansk Stadium on 27 May 2020©Getty Images

How it works
There will be eight two-legged ties, with the winners going into the UEFA Europa League group stage. The losers will be out of Europe.

Main path

Teams: 26
Already known: 0
Unknown: 26 (main path winners of the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round)

How it works
There will be 13 two-legged ties, with the winners going into the UEFA Europa League group stage. The losers will be out of Europe.

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