Portugal virtual again in place 6

Portugal has far from won in the fight for sixth place in the European coefficient ranking, as much is clear after the fifth Champions League round. Benfica already took a big step towards wintering on Tuesday, FC Porto and Sporting Portugal took a step on Wednesday: the Portuguese are now the number six in the virtual standings for 2022/2023, at the expense of the Netherlands.
Because Ajax took a Champions League bonus for the Netherlands earlier this season, ‘we’ had jumped virtually over Portugal. Now we‘re back to finish again. On Wednesday, the Dutch points total was supplemented by 0.400, thanks to Ajax’ victory on a visit to Besiktas.
However, that does not outweigh the result of Ajax opponent Sporting: 3-1 against Borussia Dortmund and a coefficient score of 0.333 for Portugal. There is another 0.833 bonus, as Sporting is now also through in the Champions League. Although FC Porto lost to Liverpool, it still has placement for the knockout phase in its own hands, when it receives Atlรฉtico Madrid in the final round of play.
The virtual subtop of the coefficient ranking 2022/2023 5. France 40,081 6. Portugal 38,717 7. Netherlands 38,000
It is a setback for the Netherlands, which, however, can hit back hard on Thursday. Sporting Braga can grab a generous Europa League bonus for Portugal (a win over FC Midtjylland plus securing place 1 would yield a coefficient score of 1,167), Sporting Braga is the only Portuguese Europa League representative. The Netherlands, on the other hand, has four irons in the fire. PSV is also in the race for the highest Europa League bonus, Feyenoord and AZ are about to help the Netherlands get a slightly smaller extra and Vitesse is also fully participating in the Conference League.
In short: this round is provisional for Portugal, but the battle is far from fighting. It is only after the 2022/2023 season that the balance will be taken. The country that is the number six in Europe by that time will be allowed to send two clubs directly into the renewed Champions League in 2024/2025. Until then, we can wait for the European results of Benfica, Porto, Sporting and Braga. Ajax does not matter anymore when it receives Sporting on 7 December, but for the Netherlands that match is all the more important.
Source: Bert Kassies
(Hein Nooijens/Football Scoop)