Tottenham confirm Wembley switch for first Champions League fixture

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Tottenham's new stadium is not ready to host matches.

Tottenham will play their opening Champions League group game at Wembley as the wait goes on for the move into their new stadium.

Spurs have announced an agreement with UEFA to host their first home Champions League match – in either the week of September 17 or October 1 – at Wembley.

Tottenham have already switched their Premier League games against Liverpool on September 15 and Cardiff on October 15 to Wembley.

“We have agreed with UEFA that the first home match day of this season’s Champions League group stage, scheduled on either match day one (week commencing September 17) or match day two (week commencing October 1), will be staged at Wembley Stadium,” read a Tottenham statement.

“Both match days are due to take place between our two Premier League home fixtures against Liverpool (Saturday 15 September) and Cardiff City (Saturday 6 October), which we confirmed last week had been switched to Wembley.”

Spurs have delayed the opening of their new ground at White Hart Lane due to “issues with the critical safety systems”.

Tottenham had been due to host Liverpool at the new ground on September 15.

The English football League (EFL) and Spurs have also confirmed the north London club will have the option to move their League Cup third-round tie, if drawn at home.

Spurs could reverse the fixture, or opt to host at a neutral venue, with Wembley unavailable in the week commencing September 24.

Spurs’ statement continued: “As a further update, should we be drawn at home in round three of the Carabao Cup (week commencing 24 September), then we can apply for special dispensation from the EFL board to reverse the fixture or play at a neutral venue as both our new stadium and Wembley are unavailable during this week.”

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Benfica could face Spartak Moscow in Champions League playoff tie

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Jardel from Benfica during the Eusebio Cup match against Lyon.

Two-time European champions Benfica or Turkish side Fenerbahce could face Russian club Spartak Moscow in the Champions League playoff round later this month after Monday’s draw.

Portuguese giants Benfica and Fenerbahce go head-to-head in the third qualifying round, with the first leg in Lisbon on Tuesday, for the right to play either Greek side PAOK or Spartak for one of the six remaining group-stage places.

Changes to the qualifying criteria mean that the top four from each of the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A and German Bundesliga last season automatically reached this year’s group stage.

Celtic, the 1967 champions, were handed a kind draw against either Swedes Malmo or Hungary’s Vidi – should they can get past AEK Athens in the third qualifying round.

Four-time winners Ajax will take on Slavia Prague or Dynamo Kiev if they see off Standard Liege, while Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven will face either Azeri outfit Qarabag or Belarusians BATE Borisov.

Brendan Rodgers' Celtic have been given a kind draw.

Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic have been given a kind draw.

Benfica, Spartak Moscow, Celtic and Qarabag all played in the Champions League group stage last season.

Draw for the UEFA Champions League playoff round:

Red Star Belgrade (SRB) or Spartak Trnava (SVK) v Salzburg (AUT) or Shkendija (MKD)

Qarabag (AZE) or BATE Borisov (BLR) v PSV Eindhoven (NED)

Young Boys (SUI) v Astana (KAZ) or Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)

Malmo (SWE) or Vidi (HUN) v Celtic (SCO) or AEK Athens (GRE)

Benfica (POR) or Fenerbahce (TUR) v PAOK (GRE) or Spartak Moscow (RUS)

Standard Liege (BEL) or Ajax (NED) v Slavia Prague (CZE) v Dynamo Kiev (UKR)

– First legs to be played August 21/22, second legs August 28/29

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Fourth substitute to be allowed in extra time in Champions League and other UEFA competitions

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Morata on for Ronaldo in 2016 was the first instance of a team using a fourth substitution.

Teams will be given an extra substitution in games that go to extra time in UEFA competitions, the organising body has announced.

The rule has been successfully applied in the EFL Cup and FA Cup in England, and most recently at the World Cup, and teams participating in the Champions League and Europa League will be able to follow suit this season.

UEFA’s rule change will also apply to Euro 2020.

Clubs will also be allowed to name 12 substitutes to their team sheets in the Champions League and Europa League, instead of the current seven.

Next season’s UEFA Youth League will see a fifth substitute being allowed, a rule that will also be implemented at the men’s and women’s U-17 and U-19 Euros.

Alvaro Morata coming on for Cristiano Ronaldo in extra time for Real Madrid at the 2016 Club World Cup final was the first time a fourth substitution was made in competitive football.

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