Two-legged Champions League semi-finals could be scrapped in the near future as UEFA consider a new ‘week of football’ to replace the current format. It is a move that could affect Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and even potentially West Ham with all four London clubs still in contention for a place in next season’s competition.
Manchester City played out a 4-3 thriller in the first leg of their last-four tie against Real Madrid on Tuesday night with Wednesday seeing Villarreal travel to Liverpool in the other clash. Chelsea look set to qualify for next season’s competition with ease while Arsenal remain in the driver’s seat to secure fourth place in the Premier League
It is the latest in a series of changes being introduced to Europe’s premier competition. The format is set for a complete overhaul from 2024, with the number of teams competing increasing from 32 to 36 with the prospect of guaranteed places for teams with a strong history in the Champions League also included.
As per a report from The Times, UEFA looks set to do away with two-legged semi-finals in favour of a new week of football hosted by a single city. While the organisation are yet to make a decision, the European Club Association (ECA) is reportedly set to throw its weight behind the plan. The European League Association would also need to agree to the changes.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was a huge fan of the format when it was adopted as part of project restart after the 2019-20 campaign was put on hold, according to the report. All remaining knock-out games were played in Lisbon during the final weeks of the season before Bayern Munich were crowned Champions.
Arsenal currently sit in fourth place in the Premier League, two points ahead of Tottenham with five matches of the season left to play. The two rivals are also set to meet in what could be a high-stakes derby day in the penultimate week of the season.