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Salzburg has to hope for a victory from Leverkusen

Salzburg has to hope for a victory from Leverkusen

Coach Gian Piero Gasperini (right) celebrates after Atalanta’s promotion against Liverpool.

With the Europa League final duel between Bayer Leverkusen and Atalanta Bergamo (9 p.m., Servus TV live), the first of three trophies in the European club competition will be awarded on Wednesday. The Conference League (May 29th) and Champions League (June 1st) are on the program a little later.

The game played in Dublin can also have an impact on Austrian football. As German champions, Leverkusen are automatically qualified for the Champions League and would therefore not need the fixed place that the Europa League winner automatically receives. This means, among other things, that the seeding lists in the qualification groups will also change.

As Austrian runner-up, Salzburg would only have to enter the third qualifying round of the Champions League instead of – as currently planned – the second. Participation in the third qualifying round would guarantee a fixed place in the Europa League even if the team were eliminated. However, if Atalanta Bergamo won the Europa League, this would not be the case. Then Salzburg would have to enter the second round of Champions League qualification. If you fail, you would then be passed on to the Europa League qualification and, if you failed again, to the Conference League qualification. In this case there would be no fixed place in a group phase at all. However, there is still a loophole here: If Atalanta (fifth in Serie A before yesterday evening’s game against Torino) ends up in the top four, Salzburg would also end up in a European group phase.

Both teams in top form

While Bayer Leverkusen has now been unbeaten in 51 competitive games, Atalanta has only lost two of its most recent twelve games. Atalanta Bergamo makes up for the financial deficits compared to the top Italian clubs very well with a clear plan and clever strategy – and has established itself as a permanent fixture in the top six for years. The victory in the quarter-finals over Liverpool FC was the highlight of coach Gian Piero Gasperini, who has been a coach in Bergamo for eight years and, alongside president Antonio Percassi, is the face of Atalanta Bergamo’s meteoric rise.

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