Roma set to qualify for next season's Europa League group stage?
Paulo Fonseca’s new side Roma could be set to receive an early season boost as they could gain access directly to the Europa League group stage.
Roma only finished 6th in the league last season and were expected only to qualify for the Europa League second qualifying round.
That would mean that Roma’s season would begin as early as 25th July.
Indeed, the second qualifying round draw for Europe’s secondary competition has already been made, with Roma going into the hat; they are due to play the winner of Debrecen and Kukesi in a bid to progress to the third qualifying round.
However, even at this very late stage, they could be about to see a change in their schedule and instead be bumped straight up to the Europa League group stage.
That is because AC Milan, who finished 5th in the league standings last year and were therefore supposed to earn direct qualification to the Europa League group stage, could be excluded from the competition.
A verdict is expected imminently as to whether Milan will be expelled from the competition or not.
If they are, Torino will take Roma’s place in the second qualifying round - and they have sent a letter to UEFA asking for clarification on the situation.
There has been further speculation surrounding the possibility that AC Milan are set to be removed from the Europa League and Roma are to replace them in the group stage due to Roma’s decision to withdraw from their pre-season training camp in Pinzolo, which was seen as preparation for the start of their season on 25th July.
Now it has been cancelled, there is speculation that their season will now start later - with Roma perhaps now in the Europa League group stage.