Why Ligue 1 needs West Ham to beat AZ Alkmaar in the Europa Conference League

France’s fifth place in the UEFA coefficient is threatened by the Netherlands at the end of the season. In this critical period, Ligue 1 is hoping for a victory of West Ham against AZ Alkmaar in the semi-final of the UEFA Europa Conference League. The first leg will take place on Thursday at the London Stadium.

A wave of support is coming from across the Channel as West Ham prepare to host AZ Alkmaar in the first leg of the UEFA Europa Conference League semi-final. With France’s UEFA ranking at stake, the country is eagerly awaiting the result.

Currently in fifth place, France faces the challenge of the Netherlands, who are close behind in sixth place, with only a 1.264 point gap, according to RMC Sport. With the French clubs already eliminated from European competitions, the hopes of staying in the standings rest on the shoulders of the Alkmaar players.

If the Dutch club wins its last three matches in the tournament (the two semi-finals and the final), without resorting to penalties, the Netherlands will overtake France in the UEFA coefficient.

The consequences for French soccer would be significant. Moving from fourth to fifth place would mean losing a place in the future UEFA Champions League format, which will be introduced in the 2024-2025 season. This would reduce the number of qualifying teams from Ligue 1 to three, down from the current four.

GFFN | George Boxall

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