UEFA and the European Clubs Association are discussing plans to expand the Women’s Champions League, which could result in more places for English sides.

Only two teams from each of the continent’s top eight leagues qualify for the round of 32, with no group stage currently included. It’s understood a number of top sides are eager for the tournament to begin with a round-robin, which would guarantee each club plays at least six matches, instead of only two.

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Chelsea reached the semi-finals during the 2018/19 campaign, yet the Blues will not appear this time around, having finished third in the Women’s Super League last term.

But according to i News, the introduction of pool stage fixtures is one of the primary topics being discussed by UEFA and ECA. If the format were updated to include groups, each participant would receive greater income from television deals, as it would ensure they play a greater number of high-profile matches.

Several managers in the English top-flight have addressed concerns about the current layout of the tournament, with ​Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro saying: “We want the top three in England, the top three in France, in the ​Champions League.

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“They have to got to work out a way where the top teams are there for longer and playing each other more regularly. That will showcase the level of the game and show how fantastic the top teams are.”

The Gunners are the only British club to have won the Women’s Champions League, with Lyon’s 4-1 defeat of Barcelona in last year’s final seeing the French outfit collect their fourth straight continental crown.

They annihilated Fortuna Hjørring 11-0 in September to reach the quarter-finals, whilst Arsenal also sealed their progress following a 13-2 triumph over Slavia Prague.

However, ​Manchester City’s hopes were ended as they were beaten by the odd goal in five by ​Atletico Madrid.

Source: 90min

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