Following the introduction of the Europa conference league, the body in charge of European games 'UEFA' has reduced the total number of teams in Europa League from 48 to 32.
This therefore means that there will be no direct qualification to the Europa League knockouts for the third-placed teams from the UEFA Champions League group stage. This will be effective from this season onwards.
From this season, the third-placed teams from champions league group stage will have to play preliminary knockout round in order to qualify for the Europa League.
This preliminary knockout round will be played between group runners-up from Europa League group stage and the third-placed teams from champions league.
So if the UEFA Champions League finishes the way it is right now, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona (who are currently at position 3 in their groups) will not be guaranteed direct tickets to Europa League knockouts.
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