Aston Villa Europa Conference League Seeding Situation
Last season may have been finished over a month ago, but participants in the 2023/24 UEFA Europa Conference League still haven’t been completely locked down, despite the first qualifying round of the tournament due to start this week.
As MOMS reported a couple of weeks ago, it was increasingly likely that both Juventus and Osasuna would be banned from this year’s tournament. UEFA last week confirmed that Osasuna would be banned, meaning Athletic Bilbao would take their place to represent La Liga, but Osasuna intend to appeal the ban, a situation which may not be resolved until next month.
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Meanwhile, Corriere dello Sport in Italy and Marca in Spain have reported that UEFA should announce this week that Juventus will indeed serve a European ban this season, rather than appeal it and threaten potentially miss out on any Champions League qualification, further down the track.
Juventus would be replaced in the tournament by Fiorentina, who actually have a lower coefficient rating than Aston Villa, which would mean that Villa would be seeded for the play-off stage. Judging by the overall calibre of teams in the seeded side of the play-off round, then it would certainly be preferable.
Juventus will NOT play the Europa Conference League!— UEFA Rankings (@UefaRankings) July 9, 2023
– Fiorentina will enter the Play-off round instead
– Aston Villa are moved to the seeded side of the draw
– Juventus will play European competitions in 2024/25 pic.twitter.com/Pp9M0Nmtas
However, there would be the possibility of Villa playing a couple of their former UEFA Cup opponents in the play-off round, in the form of both Rapid Vienna and Athletic Bilbao. There’s also the potential of facing 2022/23 finalists Fiorentina too. All three possibilities, would certainly be as tough as playing any of the seeded teams.