Monday, August 10, 2020

Scotland's UEFA Coefficient: 2020/21 First-Round Preview

As a reminder from this weekend, here is where we stand entering the 2020/21 European football season (with the caveat that we haven't fully exited the 2019/20 season.)

I think the primary rooting interest we have is for Scotland to stay above 16th, and thus keep both Champions League places. Secondarily, it would be good to build up a solid lead, as I suspect the past two seasons' success will be hard to sustain once the points are spread among five clubs next year.

COVID notes

Instead of the first three rounds being two-legged ties, they are one-legged. UEFA has decided to handle this in coefficent calculation by giving 3 points to the winner, and 1 point to the loser (2 points if it goes to penalty kicks). This is as if everyone who advances does so with a win and a draw. Points are, as usual, halved in these rounds, and then divided by the number of clubs from that nation.

It is hard to know what effect this

First-Round Preview

Celtic's Champions League road begins with a home match against KR Reykjavik, the champions of Iceland. Expect Celtic, which Clubelo has with an ELO of 1634, to be favored against the Reykjavik, which has an ELO of 1152.

 If they win, they host the winner of Ferencvaros (ELO 1507) and Djurgarden (ELO 1475), unless travel restrictions prevent hosting Djurgarden, in which case the match would be at a neutral site.

Rangers is idle until the second round.

Motherwell (ELO 1307) host the winner of Glentoran (ELO unknown) and HB Torshvan (ELO 910).

Aberdeen (ELO 1400) host the winner of NSI Runavik (ELO 902) or Barry Town United (ELO 980).

I think anything less than a sweep would be disappointing. That would equal 3*3*0.5/4=0.825 for the coefficient. Note that the theoretical worst is 3*1*0.5/4=0.375. So Scotland will continue to be in 13th place going into the second round. Note that there is no practical effect between 13th and 14th place.

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