How Uefa’s rule change has affected Arsenal & Chelsea in the Europa League this season

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There’s been several changes to European competitions for this season.
From the team who finishes fourth in the Premier League now gaining automatic entry into the Champions League group phase thus no longer having to face a pre-qualifier in August to an additional substitute in extra-time, a lot has happened at Uefa’s headquarters over the past few months.

With so much going on, it would be understandable if many supporters haven’t been able to keep track of all the changes.
One alteration that had slipped under the radar of Arsenal and Chelsea fans was that of the new kick-off times in the Europa League for this season.
Gone is the traditional split of half the games on Thursday kicking off at 6pm and the other half getting started at 8.05pm.
In it’s place is two new kick-off times, but in truth the changes aren’t too drastic like the Champions League.
The new kick-off times in the UEFA Europa League are as follows:

  • UEFA Europa League matches from the group stage until round of 16 matches will kick off at 18:55 (17:55) and 21:00CET (20:00).
  • The kick-off times will be decided in accordance with the draw. In principle, games within a group will be played simultaneously on the last matchday.
  • The quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will all kick off at 21:00CET. Exceptions can be made by the UEFA administration.

Both Arsenal and Chelsea were handed fairly straightforward groups and reached the knockout stages with two games to spare.
Although, there are still journeys to the Ukraine and Hungary respectively to contend with.
The London duo were given three 17:55 and 20:00 kick-offs on a Thursday evening, starting in September.
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