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Champions League

Massive UEFA rule change to influence Celtic, Rangers, Hibs, Aberdeen and St Johnstone in Europe subsequent season

The Champions League qualifiers and knock-out stage will probably be affected by UEFA’s rule-change. (Image: SNS)

Soccer’s governing physique in Europe has determined upon the rule simply two weeks earlier than the primary qualifying matches for the highest competitors had been resulting from kick off.

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As a substitute of away objectives counting for additional within the occasion of a two-legged tie on combination, second legs can have a further extra-time added if the scores are degree after 180 minutes of soccer.

If required, a penalty shoot-out will comply with.

It’s a major change to European competitors guidelines, which has at all times seen a objective away from house valued extra, significantly in first leg matches.

Rangers benefitted from the rule twice lately – defeating Sporting Lisbon within the 2010-11 Europa League knock-out phases. It additionally helped Walter Smith’s facet see off Panathinaikos with a Nacho Novo objective in Greece to start out the UEFA Cup last run in 2008.

Likewise Martin O’Neill’s Celtic facet’s march to the 2003 UEFA Cup last in Seville was additionally aided by the rule to see off Celta Vigo. Away objectives additionally got here into pressure when Celtic drew with Legia Warsaw over two legs in 2014-15 and progressed to the Champions League play-off stage.

Nevertheless, it has conspired towards Scottish groups too and Alex McLeish’s Rangers facet had been denied additional progress within the Champions League after efficiently qualifying from the group stage for the primary time in 2005-06. A 2-2 draw at Ibrox with Villarreal and solely managing to attain as soon as in El Madrigal within the return leg draw.

The rule comes into impact instantly and also will have an effect on Aberdeen and Hibs within the new Europa Convention competitors, and Scottish Cup winners’ St Johnstone within the Europa League qualifiers.

UEFA defined some statistics behind the choice: “Statistics because the mid-Seventies present a transparent pattern of steady discount within the hole between the variety of home-away wins (from 61%-19% to 47%-30%) and the common variety of objectives per match scored at home-away (from 2.02-0.95 to 1.58-1.15) in males’s competitions.”

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