Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round Seeding

Aberdeen and St Johnstone will enter the Europa League at the 1st Qualifying Round (QR1), and will be seeded in the QR1 draw.

Inverness will enter at the 2nd Qualifying Round (QR2).  Due to the short time period between the rounds, both stages are drawn at the same time, and therefore Aberdeen and St Johnstone will also be in the QR2 draw.

UEFA make the QR2 draw with the assumption that all the seeded sides will win in QR1.  Aberdeen and Inverness will definitely be unseeded in this draw.  St Johnstone could still be seeded, and below I explain what results they need to end up as a seeded club in QR2.

60 of the 66 teams for the QR2 draw have been locked in.  There are 6 spaces still up for grabs.  The top 33 teams will be seeded.  Of the 60 who are already in place, St Johnstone are currently ranked 30th.

St Johnstone will be seeded if at least 3 of the remaining 6 clubs who qualify have a coefficient lower than 6.080.

The spots which are still to be decided are as follows:

Switzerland – 1 spot

Switzerland’s lowest ranked qualifier will enter QR2.  This spot will be decided by the outcome of the Swiss Cup final next Sunday between Basel and Sion.

  • If Basel win the cup, then St Johnstone’s old pals, 5th placed Luzern, will enter QR2.  Their coefficient is 9.875.
  • If Sion win the cup, then 4th placed FC Thun will enter QR2.  Their coefficient is 10.375.

In other words, whichever of these sides end up in QR2 will be ranked above St Johnstone and will be seeded.

Greece – 1 spot

Greece’s lowest ranked qualifier will enter QR2.  This spot will be decided by the outcome of their European play-off group – whoever finishes 4th (and bottom) in the group will enter this round.  With 2 matches remaining (on Thursday and Monday), three clubs could still qualify:

  • Asteras Tripoli are currently 2nd on 6 points.  Their coefficient is 13.380.
  • PAOK are currently 3rd on 5 points.  Their coefficient is 40.880.
  • Atromitos are currently 4th on 4 points.  Their coefficient is 10.380.

Again, this means that whichever Greek side ends up in QR2 will be seeded above St Johnstone.

Austria – 1 spot

Austria’s lowest ranked side will enter QR2.  This will be decided by the Austrian Cup final on Wednesday between Red Bull Salzburg and Austria Vienna.

  • If Red Bull Salzburg win the cup, then 5th placed Wolfsberger AC will enter QR2.  Their coefficient is 5.135.
  • If Austria Vienna win the cup, then 4th placed Sturm Graz will enter QR2.  Their coefficient is 9.135.

St Johnstone therefore obviously want Red Bull Salzburg to win the cup, because Saints would be ranked ahead of Wolfsberger AC.

Poland – 3 spots

This is by far the most complex country remaining.  Poland’s top ranked side will enter QR2, while their 2nd and 3rd ranked sides will enter QR1, but will be seeded in QR1 and will therefore also take up a place in the QR2 draw.  That means that Poland still have 3 places in total which affect St Johnstone’s seeding.  These will go to the clubs finishing 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the Polish league.

There are 2 matches remaining in the league, which will be played on Wednesday and Saturday.  7 clubs can still qualify for the Europa League:

  • Lech Poznan are currently top of the league with 39 points.  Their coefficient is 17.300.
  • Legia Warsaw are currently 2nd with 38 points.  Their coefficient is 24.800.
  • Jagiellonia Bialystok are currently 3rd with 35 points.  Their coefficient is 5.550.
  • Slask Wroclaw are currently 4th with 29 points.  Their coefficient is 8.800.
  • Lechia Gdansk are currently 5th with 28 points.  Their coefficient is 4.300.
  • Wisla Krakow are currently 6th with 27 points.  Their coefficient is 13.300.
  • Gornik Zabrze are currently 7th with 26 points.  Their coefficient is 4.300.

Lech Poznan, Legia Warsaw and Jagiellonia Bialystok are all guaranteed a spot in Europe for next season.  One of them will win the league and qualify for the Champions League, while the other two will end up in the Europa League.  Therefore at least one of Lech Poznan or Legia Warsaw will be in the Europa League QR2 draw and will be ranked above St Johnstone.

St Johnstone are hoping that Jagiellonia don’t win the league, and that either Lechia Gdansk or Gornik Zabrze finish 4th.

Summary

Three sides are guaranteed to be ranked above St Johnstone – one from Switzerland, one from Greece and one from Poland.  For St Johnstone to be seeded in QR2, they need each of the other three spots to be taken by sides ranked below them.

That means they need the following outcomes:

  • Red Bull Salzburg beat Austria Vienna in the Austrian Cup final.
  • Jagiellonia Bialystok don’t win the Polish league (and therefore finish 2nd or 3rd).
  • Lechia Gdansk or Gornik Zabrze finish 4th in Poland.
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