After the fantastic result at the Emirates last night the Swans are now only 1 point behind 7th placed Southampton and 2 points behind 6th placed Spurs with just two Premier League games remaining. The significance of that for the Jack Army is that Europa League football is a distinct possibility for the 2015-16 season!
In true battleground style, you could say the Swans are fighting on two fronts – to finish 6th and guarantee entry into the Europa League OR finish 7th and become Arsenal fans for the FA Cup Final hoping they beat Aston Villa – which will also ensure passage into the Europa League.
The debate around whether or not we want European Football and all of the historical struggles it appears to bring to the Premier League teams involved (bar the top 4 possibly) will rumble on for weeks – regardless of whether we clinch a place in Europe or not.
Some might say the mega-bucks involved in the 2016-17 Premier League season are too much to ignore and the Swans should avoid Europe and focus on the Premier League campaign, whereas others feel that all challenges are welcome and records are there to be broken.
All football fans love a bit of romance and the thought of the Jack Army once again going on an European Tour to far flung – and often unheard of – places in Russia, Romania, Sweden, Italy, Spain and Switzerland, excite me considerably!
As with any potential road trip, it’s vitally important to plan ahead. So the team here at SCFC2 has done some digging and have come up with a mini-guide to the 2015-16 Europa League.
- IF the Swans finish in 6th place in the Premier League, they will enter the Europa League in the Group Stage.
- IF the Swans finish in 7th place in the Premier League and Arsenal beat Aston Villa in the FA Cup, they will enter the Europa League in the 3rd Round Qualifying Stage.
This information is published on the Premier League site.
The draw for the 3rd Round Qualifying Stage will be on 17th July with the Group Stage being drawn on 28th August.
You might want to take note of the following all important dates for the 2015-16 Europa League – so you can book your leave and save some cash in readiness!
- The 3rd Round Qualifying 1st Leg will be played on 30th July 2015.
- The 3rd Round Qualifying 2nd Leg will be played on 6th August 2015.
- IF the Swans were to win their 3rd Round Qualifier they would then have a Play-Off game (over 2 legs) to gain entry to the Group Stage.
- The Group stage will commence on 17th September 2015.
- The final will be held at St. Jakob-Park in Basel, Switzerland on 18th May 2016.
Full details of every round and the match dates are published on the UEFA site.
Of course all of the above is dependant on so many ifs, buts and maybes, as we all are only too aware of how things can change in football from one minute to the next.
But whatever happens over the next 2 games, one thing is for sure, it has been an unfortgettable and historic season for Wales’ only Premier League team. Nothing will ever change that and I’ve little doubt that it will live long in the memory of Swansea City fans across the globe.
I just hope that in writing this – whilst basking in the euphoria of doing the double over the Gooners – that I haven’t put an jinx on our quest for European football next season!