It won’t be too much longer until Nuno Espirito Santo and Tottenham discover their first opponents in the newly-formed Europa Conference League.
Looking on course to finish in the top four at the turn of the year, Spurs fell away from the Champions League spots and only clinched a European position on the final day following a fine 4-2 win at Leicester City.
Narrowly missing out on the Europa League as West Ham pipped them to sixth, the Lilywhites will instead compete in UEFA’s third club competition from August onwards.
No teams qualify directly for the group stage and will instead have to advance through qualifiers and a play-off round to be one of the 32 teams involved.
Spurs, just like Union Berlin, Roma and Stade Rennes, will enter at the play-off stage in August, with the draw taking place at the start of next month.
So what exactly does the new competition entail and who could they potentially get? football.london takes a look.
How does the competition work?
There will be a total of 32 teams in the group stage of the competition, although no teams qualify directly for the group phase.
The 32 teams will be made up of 17 teams from the Europa Conference League main path, five teams from the Europa Conference League Champions path and ten teams eliminated from the Europa League play-offs.
The 32 teams will then be split into eight groups of four, with the top two in each group advancing to the knockout phase of the competition.
However, the eight group winners will advance straight to the Round of 16, with the eight runners-up going into a preliminary knockout round when they will face the third-placed teams from the Europa League group stage.
So who will play in the Europa Conference League?
Teams entering in the play-off round: Tottenham, Union Berlin, AS Roma, Stade Rennes
Teams entering in the third qualifying round: Pacos de Ferreira, Rubin Kazan, Anderlecht, Kolos Kovalivka, Vitesse, Trabzonspor, LASK, Luzern, PAOK
Second qualifying round draw
Teuta (ALB) vs Inter Club d’Escaldes (AND), Riga FC (LVA) vs Shkëndija (MKD), Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) vs Maccabi Haifa (ISR), Budućnost Podgorica (MNE) vs HB Tórshavn (FRO), Linfield (NIR) vs Borac Banja Luka (BIH), Shakhtyor Soligorsk (BLR) vs Fola Esch (LUX), Folgore (SMR) vs Hibernians (MLT), Prishtina (KOS) vs Connah’s Quay Nomads (WAL), Valur (ISL) vs Bodø/Glimt (NOR)
Bye: Shamrock Rovers (IRL)
KuPS Kuopio (FIN) vs Vorskla Poltava (UKR), FCSB (ROU) vs Shakhter Karagandy (KAZ), Arda Kardzhali (BUL) vs Hapoel Beer-Sheva (ISR), Apollon Limassol (CYP) vs Žilina (SVK), Čukarički (SRB) vs Sumgait (AZE), Sutjeska (MNE) vs Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR), Astana (KAZ) vs Aris Thessaloniki (GRE), Petrocub-Hincesti (MDA) vs Sivasspor (TUR), AEL Limassol (CYP) vs Vllaznia (ALB), Sochi (RUS) vs Keşla (AZE), Elfsborg (SWE) vs Milsami Orhei (MDA), RFS (LVA) vs Puskás Akadémia (HUN), Dinamo Batumi (GEO) vs BATE Borisov (BLR), Partizan (SRB) vs Dunajská Streda (SVK), Dundalk (IRL) vs Levadia Tallinn (EST), Gżira United (MLT) vs Rijeka (CRO), Viktoria Plzeň (CZE) vs Dynamo Brest (BLR), Kauno Žalgiris (LTU) vs The New Saints (WAL), Domžale (SVN) vs Honka Espoo (FIN), CSKA-Sofia (BUL) vs Liepāja (LVA), Shkupi (MKD) vs Santa Clara (POR), Hibernian (SCO) vs Santa Coloma (AND)
Larne (NIR) vs AGF Aarhus (DEN), Gent (BEL) vs Vålerenga (NOR), Dudelange (LUX) vs Bohemians (IRL), Velež (BIH) vs AEK Athens (GRE), Qarabağ (AZE) vs Ashdod (ISR), Lokomotiv Plovdiv (BUL) vs Slovácko (CZE), Ararat Yerevan (ARM) vs Śląsk Wrocław (POL), Universitatea Craiova (ROU) vs Laç (ALB), Drita (KOS) vs Feyenoord (NED), Basel 1893 (SUI) vs Partizani (ALB), Pogoń Szczecin (POL) vs Osijek (CRO), Austria Wien (AUT) vs Breidablik (ISL), Olimpija Ljubljana (SVN) vs Birkirkara (MLT), Hammarby (SWE) vs Maribor (SVN), Molde (NOR) vs Servette (SUI), Újpest (HUN) vs Vaduz (LIE), Sūduva (LTU) vs Raków Czestochowa (POL), FC Spartak Trnava (SVK) vs Sepsi OSK Sfantu Gheorghe (ROU), FH Hafnarfjördur (ISL) vs Rosenborg (NOR), Copenhagen (DEN) vs Torpedo-Belaz Zhodino (BLR), Panevezys (LTU) vs Vojvodina (SRB), Hajduk Split (CRO) vs Tobol Kostanay (KAZ), Aberdeen (SCO) vs BK Häcken (SWE)
Who else will enter the Europa Conference League?
Teams who lose in the qualifying rounds of both the Champions League and Europa League will enter the Europa Conference League.
In the second qualifying round, 20 losers from Champions League qualifying will enter the competition, with eight losers of the Europa League qualifying round then entering for the play-off round.
Ten losers from the Europa League play-off round will then be added to the group stage.
As is the case in the Europa League knockout phase when the eight third-placed teams from the Champions League enter, the eight teams who finished third in the Europa League group stage will enter the Europa Conference League at the knockout stage.
When will the draw be made?
Third qualifying round draw: 19 July
Play-off round draw: 2 August
Group stage draw: 27 August
Knockout round play-off draw: 13 December
Round of 16 draw: 25 February
Quarter-finals & Semi-final draw: 18 March
When will the games be played?
Games will take place on Thursdays as is the case with the Europa League, with matches kicking off at either 5.45pm or 8pm.
Second qualifying round: 22 & 29 July
Third qualifying round: 5 & 12 August
Play-offs: 19 & 26 August
Group stage: 16 & 30 September, 21 October, 4 & 25 November, 9 December
Knockout round play-offs: 17 & 24 February
Round of 16: 10 & 17 March
Quarter-finals: 7 & 14 April
Semi-finals: 28 April & 5 May
Final: 25 May
Where will the final be played?
The inaugural 2021/22 Europa Conference League final will take place in Tirana, Albania on Wednesday, May 25.
The game will be played at the National Arena, which has a capacity of 21,690.
The winners of the competition will automatically qualify for the Europa League in 2022/23.
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