Thursday, October 20, 2016

Scotland's UEFA Coefficient: Group Stage Halfway Point

I didn't want to let six matchdays go by without checking in, so here's where we are halfway through the group stage of the Champions League (and for other nations, the Europa League).

So Celtic managed to grab a draw against Manchester City. That added 0.25 to the coefficient, which moved Scotland past Norway into 22nd. Yay! No more 23rd (for now), where they had been stuck the entire time.

Legia Warsaw is having an even worse time in the Champions League than Celtic, so Poland is still within striking distance, if Celtic can put together a win or two draws in their last three matches.

On the other hand, Israel's coefficient has inched up 1.25, Azerbaijan is up 0.75 and Cyprus is up by 1. A repeat of that performance in the last three matches by Israeli clubs, a surge by Azerbaijan, or qualification for the knockout stages by APOEL Nicosia could move any of those nations past Scotland.

It just goes to show that having two teams do reasonably well in the Europa League is better for the coefficient than having one do poorly in the Champions League. I'm not sure that's fair, but that's how it is.

In December, UEFA is supposed to unveil the new qualifying procedure, which will take place the year after next. The coefficient referenced above is the one that will get used in this qualifying, so these moves of one or two spots could make a big difference...or no difference at all. I will update when we find out.

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