With 26 teams (up from 22) going directly into the Champions League group stage, the Scottish Premiership winners will compete for one of four places available to qualifiers that are league winners.

The Scottish champions will need to win four two-legged ties to reach the group stage – three qualifying rounds and a play-off round.

Every team eliminated in the Champions League qualifying and play-off rounds will now get a second chance in the Europa League.

This season and last term, Celtic entered at the second qualifying round stage and progressed to the group stage via the third qualifying and play-off rounds.

However, only losers at the third qualifying and play-off rounds were parachuted into the Europa League.

Europa League

Three Scottish sides will be among those competing for 13 qualifying places available to non-champions in the Europa League group stage.

The sides finishing second and third in the Premiership enter at the first qualifying round stage and the Scottish Cup winners come in at the second qualifying round stage.

From next season, 17 sides across Europe gain direct entry to the Europa League group stage and are joined by the 10 losers from the Champions League play-off round.

A further 21 places are available to qualifiers, including eight league winners that have not reached the Champions League play-off round.

This term, Aberdeen – who took the Scottish Cup winners’ place after finishing as runners-up to Celtic – won their second qualifying round but lost their next tie and missed out on the play-off round.

Rangers and St Johnstone both lost their first qualifying round ties.

If the cup winners and runners-up have already qualified for Europe, then next best placed team in the Premiership will progress.

Preliminary rounds

There will be preliminary rounds in both the Champions League and Europa League prior to their respective first qualifying rounds. Scottish sides will not be involved.

The Champions League preliminary round will involve four teams in a “knockout mini-tournament” with only the winner progressing and the three losing sides dropping into the Europa League second qualifying round (champions route).

The Europa League preliminary round will feature 16 teams and the eight winners of the two-legged ties progress.

Sports Reporter

Paulmikki Osude is a respected blogger who loves to discuss about sports,

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