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27th Feb 2018

There will be no more 7.45pm kick-offs in the Champions League

There are two new kick-off times

Darragh Murphy

7.45pm Champions League kick-offs will become a thing of the past next season.

Uefa have announced a series of changes to both the Champions League and Europa League, one of them being the introduction of staggered kick-off times.

Starting from next season, games will get started at either 5.55pm or 8pm (GMT/BST).

The good news for managers of Premier League sides is that they will no longer have to go through a two-legged qualifier to gain access to the group stages of either European competition.

The top six come the end of the current Premier League season will now be guaranteed places in the group stages of either the Champions League or Europa League.

All teams from Italy, Germany and Spain, as well as the defending Champions League holders and Europa League winners, will also automatically enter the group stages.

In total, 26 teams will go directly into the Champions League group stage as opposed to 22, meaning that only six will qualify for the group stages via the qualifying round.

10 sides will enter the Europa League via elimination from Champions League qualifiers, with 17 qualifying for the Europa League directly via their domestic league positions. 21 teams will reach the group stages through the normal qualifying route.

A full list of the changes can be found here.