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Arsenal handed Champions League hope by UEFA contingency plan for cancelled Premier League season

first_img Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 22 Apr 2020 10:12 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link4kShares Mikel Arteta could benefit from a new UEFA plan (Picture: Getty Images)UEFA have floated the possibility of handing out Champions League places for next season based on their coefficient scores if domestic seasons are cancelled, which would see Arsenal sneak back into Europe’s top competition.Contingency plans are being drawn up for if major leagues across Europe cannot be completed due to the coronavirus crisis.While there would be much argument over teams being awarded title and if sides should face relegation, there is also the issue of which teams qualify for Europe next season if this campaign is voided.UEFA held a video conference with all 55 national associations and one idea that was put forward was handing out European places based on the UEFA coefficient, regardless of current position in the domestic tables. AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTThis would see Arsenal make it into next season’s Champions League, despite sitting ninth in the Premier League at the moment.The coefficient would also hand would also give Champions League places to Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United, with Leicester City and Chelsea missing out.If Man City’s two-year Champions League ban is upheld then it is Spurs, who are currently eighth in the Premier League, that would take their place, leaving Chelsea, Leicester and Wolves to contest the Europa League.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityThe team currently in seventh, Sheffield United, would not get a spot in Europe.The proposal remains just that at this stage, with Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin not thought to be in favour of it.UEFA are pushing for domestic leagues to be completed, being restarted by the end of June if at all possible.A statement from UEFA after their online meeting read: ‘There was a strong recommendation given to finish domestic top division and cup competitions.‘But some special cases will be heard once guidelines concerning participation to European competitions – in case of a cancelled league – have been developed.’MORE: Arsenal ‘flop’ Nicolas Pepe is being played out of position, says Stewart RobsonMORE: Chelsea eyeing shock deal for Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick AubameyangFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Comment Advertisementcenter_img Advertisement Arsenal handed Champions League hope by UEFA contingency plan for cancelled Premier League seasonlast_img read more

Balotelli targets Champions League

first_img The 24-year-old Italy striker has completed a £16million move from AC Milan after Liverpool sealed one of the shock signings of the summer. Balotelli, who will wear his favoured No 45 shirt, is understood to have signed a three-year deal with the option of a fourth year. Mario Balotelli has set his sights on taking Liverpool to Champions League glory after admitting he had made a mistake in turning his back on English football. The striker won the Champions League with Inter Milan in 2010 and has ambitions of repeating the feat with Liverpool on the Reds’ return to Europe’s elite competition. He told Liverpool’s official website: “I always start a competition wanting to win it. We will see. I want to win another Champions League for sure, because the Champions League wasn’t all mine, I was in a team. I want to take this team to the Champions League.” Balotelli also admitted that just 18 months back in Milan had convinced him he should return to the Premier League. He added: “I’m happy to be back because I left England and it was a mistake. I wanted to go to Italy but I realised it was a mistake. “English football is generally better. English football is beautiful.” Balotelli was given a rough ride by Liverpool fans during his visits to Anfield while with City, but he has already been given a warm welcome by supporters who had been mourning the departure of Luis Suarez. He added: “I didn’t expect it [the warm reception] because whenever I played against Liverpool, the fans weren’t nice with me but that’s normal – it’s football! Now that I play for Liverpool, I can see the expectation in people. They’re very happy and that makes me very happy at the same time. “To play here for Liverpool excites me, but if you’re an opponent it’s difficult. “Liverpool are one of the best teams here in England. The football is very good here. It’s a great team with young players, and that’s why I came here.” Balotelli spent a year-and-a-half at Milan, where he scored 30 goals in 54 appearances. He has also won the Champions League, three Serie A championships and the FA Cup, plus 33 caps for Italy during which he has scored 13 goals including the goal that accounted for England in the World Cup. Balotelli has had a colourful career and has often fallen out with his managers – Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is believed to have asked for assurances about the player’s behaviour on and off the pitch. Rodgers has made it clear no incoming player would be allowed to threaten the “fantastic environment” at the club but hailed Balotelli’s arrival as outstanding value” for a “world-class talent”. He told the club’s website: “This transfer represents outstanding value for the club and I think we have done a really smart piece of business here. “There is no doubting Mario’s ability; he is a world-class talent and someone who, for such a young age, has vast experience of playing at the very highest level. “He has scored goals in the Barclays Premier League, in Italy, in the Champions League and for his country at international level. “I believe we have the infrastructure, culture and environment to get the best out of him and help him achieve his true potential. We are a strong group here, committed to hard work and he will benefit from being around it. “I am looking forward to working with him and helping him learn more, improve and progress as a player. I’m sure the supporters will make him feel very welcome.” Press Association Sport understands Balotelli will be at the Etihad Stadium on Monday night to watch Liverpool’s match against his former side Manchester City. The Italian will travel with five of his new team-mates who have not been included in the match-day squad and will meet those who are scheduled to play in the dressing room before kick-off. He will then watch the game from the directors’ box before travelling back to Liverpool with the rest of the squad on the team coach. Press Associationlast_img read more