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Uefa have announced more changes to European competitions from next season.
One of the many alterations which are set to come into force from the 2018/2019 campaign, is that whoever finishes fourth in the Premier League no longer has to face a pre-qualifier in August and thus will not have to add extra matches to their already busy schedule at the beginning of the season.
Previously, any team that came fourth in England, Spain, Italy and Germany had to negotiate a play-off to enter the Champions League proper.
Liverpool finished fourth in the 2016/2017 season and had to overcome Hoffenheim en route to reaching the final, but won’t have to face a similar task this season as the restructure means that any team finishing in the top four is guaranteed entry into the premier club competition.
This new rule should serve as a timely incentive for Chelsea and Arsenal who are both playing in the Europa League next season after finishing fifth and sixth in the Premier League last season.
Furthermore, there will be new kick-off times in the Champions League.
Whilst there is no change to the formats from the group stage onwards, there will be staggered kick-offs as the traditional 7.45pm kick off is being replaced by 5.55pm and 8pm kick-offs.
Now the latest change as rubber-stamped by Uefa involves the number of substitutions if a match goes into extra time.
Here are the amendments to the laws:
Number of substitutions
• Up to five substitutions will be permitted per team.
• Each team may use a maximum of three stoppages in play to make its substitutions.
• If a match goes into extra time, each team may use up to four stoppages in play, provided that at least one of these stoppages occurs in extra time.
• Substitutions made during half-time, in the interval before extra time and at half-time during extra time, do not reduce the number of stoppages in play that can be used.
• A player who has been substituted may take no further part in the match.
The application of this rule will apply to the following UEFA competitions:
• UEFA Youth League 2018/19
• UEFA European Under-17 Championship 2018/19
• UEFA European Under-19 Championship 2018/19
• UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship 2018/19
• UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship 2018/19
Additional substitutions if a match goes into extra time
An additional substitute will be permitted in the following UEFA competitions (a maximum of three substitutions during normal playing time will still apply)
• UEFA Champions League 2018/19
• UEFA Europa League 2018/19
• UEFA Super Cup 2018
• UEFA Women’s Champions League 2018/19
For the sake of clarity, if fewer than three substitutions have been made during normal time, a team may still use a total of four substitutions if the match goes into extra time.

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