UEFA index: Nice’s victory limits damage for France

UEFA index: Nice’s victory limits damage for France

The stakes are high. To send four clubs to the new Champions League formula in 2024-2025 (three directly into the “League phase”, which will replace the current group phase, plus another in the preliminary round), France must absolutely maintain, at the end of the season, its fifth place in the general classification of the UEFA index, compiling the last five exercises.

Because the country ranked sixth will only have three qualified (two plus one, current situation in France) and the seventh only two (one plus one), ranks respectively occupied to date by the Netherlands and Portugal.

Thus, combined with Tuesday’s successes of AZ Alkmaar (2-1 at Lazio Rome) in the round of 16 first leg of the Europa League Conference and Benfica in the round of 16 second leg of the C1 (5-1 against Club Brugge), the elimination of Paris-SG at this same stage on Wednesdayby Bayern Munich (0-2, 0-1 in the first leg), had started the French week very badly.

The Netherlands more dangerous than Portugal

But this Thursday victory against Sheriff Tiraspol (1-0), in the round of 16 of the C4, OGC Nice, the last French representative on the European scene, gave some air, or, at the very least, limited the damage. And this, knowing that in the eighth first leg of the Europa League, Sporting Portugal drew at home against Arsenal (2-2), while Feyenoord Rotterdam obtained a similar result (1-1) at Chakhtior Donetsk .

While waiting for the important return matches next Thursday, after that of FC Porto in C1 two days earlier (beaten 0-1 at Inter Milan in the round of 16), France (60.664) therefore keeps 2.764 points ahead of its Dutch rival (57.900) and 5.282 on its Portuguese competitor (55.382). To be really reassured, the ideal for our country would therefore be for Nice to qualify and for Porto, Sporting and especially Feyenoord and AZ Alkmaar to be eliminated.

“Above all”, because the Netherlands remain the most threatening, firstly because they are therefore the closest. But also because they had only five representatives at the start of the season, against six for France and Portugal, which mechanically makes their points heavier, the average of each nation being established by dividing by its number of participants .

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