The UEFA Youth League has undergone a revamp for its third season, doubling in size with a second method of qualifying. UEFA.com explains the new format.
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The UEFA Youth League has doubled its size for its third season with the Under-19 teams of the 32 UEFA Champions League entrants joined by the 32 national youth champion clubs. UEFA.com explains the new format.
There are two methods of qualification for the new-look UEFA Youth League, with the teams in each 'path' competing separately in the autumn...
1: UEFA Champions League path: As before, the 32 youth teams of the clubs which qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage
2: Domestic Champions path: For the first time, the domestic youth champions of the 32 best-ranked associations in the 2014 UEFA association coefficient rankings (the same rankings used to decide access to the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League)
• If a team is eligible for both, they enter the UEFA Champions League path.
• If there is a vacancy in the UEFA Champions League path, replacement criteria will be defined by the UEFA administration.
• A vacancy in the domestic champions path (including if a club is instead eligible for the UEFA Champions League path) is, in principle, filled by the domestic youth champion of the next best-ranked association.
UEFA Champions League path
The 32 clubs entering via the UEFA Champions League will compete in groups with the indentical make-up and fixture list as for the senior competition.
• The eight group winners will progress straight to the round of 16.
• The eight runners-up will go into the play-offs.
Domestic Champions path
The 32 teams will compete in two knockout rounds of home-and-away ties. There will be no seeding.
• The eight teams remaining after the second round will go into the play-offs.
The eight Domestic Champions path survivors will be drawn at home to the eight UEFA Champions League path runners-up in one-off ties to decide the eight remaining round of 16 berths.
Knockout phase and final
The knockout phase, starting with the round of 16 will consist of single-leg ties.
• The semi-finals and the final will be played on 15 and 18 April respectively at the Colovray stadium opposite UEFA's Swiss headquarters in Nyon.
More information can be seen in the competition's official regulations.
UEFA Champions League draw: 27 August, Monaco
Domestic Champions path draw (both rounds): 1 September, Nyon
UEFA Champions League path matchday one: 15/16 September
UEFA Champions League path matchday two: 29/30 September
Domestic Champions path round one, first leg: 29/30 September
UEFA Champions League path matchday three: 20/21 October
Domestic Champions path round one, second leg: 20/21 October
UEFA Champions League path matchday four: 3/4 November
Domestic Champions path round two, first leg: 3/4 November
UEFA Champions League path matchday five: 24/25 November
Domestic Champions path round two, second leg: 24/25 November
UEFA Champions League path matchday six: 8/9 December
Play-off draw: 14 December
Play-offs: 9/10 February
Knockout draw (round of 16 onwards): 15 February
Round of 16: 22/23 February
Quarter-finals: 8/9 March
Semi-final: 15 April, Nyon
Final: 18 April, Nyon
• UEFA Champions League path
Pot 1 Barcelona (ESP), Bayern München (GER), Chelsea (ENG, holders), Benfica (POR), Paris Saint-Germain (FRA), Juventus (ITA), Zenit (RUS), PSV Eindhoven (NED)
Pot 2: Real Madrid (ESP), Atlético Madrid (ESP), Porto (POR), Arsenal (ENG), Manchester United (ENG), Valencia (ESP), Bayer Leverkusen (GER), Manchester City (ENG)
Pot 3: Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), Sevilla (ESP), Lyon (FRA), Dynamo Kyiv (UKR), Olympiacos (GER), CSKA Moskva (RUS), Galatasaray (TUR), AS Roma (ITA)
Pot 4: BATE Borisov (BLR), Borussia Mönchengladbach (GER), Wolfsburg (GER), Dinamo Zagreb (CRO), Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR), Gent (BEL, Malmö (SWE), Astana (KAZ)
• Domestic Champions path
Villarreal (ESP), Middlesbrough (ENG), Schalke 04 (GER), Torino (ITA), Stade de Reims (FRA), Spartak Moskva (RUS), Ajax (NED), Anderlecht (BEL), Beşiktaş (TUR), Servette (SUI), Salzburg (AUT), Příbram (CZE), Viitorul (ROU), APOEL (CYP), Midtjylland (DEN), Legia Warszawa (POL), FC Minsk (BLR), Celtic (SCO), Elfsborg (SWE), Litex Lovech (BUL), Brann (NOR), Rad (SRB), Felcsút (HUN), Domžale (SVN), Senica (SVK), Zimbru Chisinau (MDA), Ravan (AZE), Saburtalo (GEO), Aktobe (KAZ), Željezničar (BIH)*, HJK Helsinki (FIN)*, Stjarnan (ISL)*
*Entered as Shakhtar Donetsk, Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Dinamo Zagreb qualified for UEFA Champions League via play-offs
Still confused? Let this graphic explain what happens...