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UEFA to announce Premiership boost for Champions League

UEFA are expected to announce that three Premier League clubs will qualify automatically for the Champions League group phase from 2009.

The fourth-placed Premier League team, however, are likely to face a much tougher task in making the group stage as they will have to play a qualifying round against another side from the leading leagues in Europe.

Previously, the fourth-placed teams from England, Spain and Italy were almost assured of a place among 32 Champions League clubs by being seeded against a side from a weaker European country in the final qualifying round.

Scotland's champions will also qualify automatically under the changes being put forward by UEFA president Michel Platini, with the Scottish runners-up likely to face two qualifying rounds.

The decision will be taken by UEFA's executive committee meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland, on Friday and will also see six group-stage spots reserved for the champions of the 40 lowest-ranked countries among UEFA's 53 members.

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Tribal Football Staff

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