Heart of Midlothian can automatically qualify for the Europa League phase, guaranteeing European football after Christmas, if two things materialise between now and the end of the campaign.

With the Old Firm due to meet in the Scottish Cup final later this month it means third place will take the Premiership's spot in the Europa League play-off which Hearts have already secured. That guarantees at least eight games in Europe because even if the team lose the play-off they would drop into the newly formatted Conference League where they would play six different opponents once.

Gavin from Scotland's Coefficient recently explained what is in store for Steven Naismith's side in Europe next season and what the new format looks like. He has now revealed that Hearts could now skip the play-off altogether and go straight into the League Phase of the Europa League.

"If both Dortmund and Atalanta are the European trophy winners AND finish in a Europa League position domestically - both countries will have one less Europa League spot," Gavin revealed.

"This causes rebalancing in the Europa League qualifiers and the cup winners from the highest ranked association will be promoted forward one round."

Belgium is the country in eighth place in the association ranking and will benefit if one of Atalanta or Dortmund win their final and finish outside the top four in their respective leagues. If both were to win their final Hearts would be "promoted directly to the League Phase".

Atalanta have now won the Europa League, defeating Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 in the final, while Borussia Dortmund have finished outside the top four of the Bundesliga.

Hearts now require Dortmund to defeat Real Madrid in the Champions League final a week on Saturday and for Atalanta to finish outside the top four of Serie A. The Italians are currently fifth in the league with two fixtures remaining. They sit two points behind Juventus and have a game in hand. They will play Torino at home this coming Sunday before finishing their campaign at home to Fiorentina on Sunday, June 2.

What would Europa League qualification mean?

Hearts would play eight League Phase matches between the end of September and the end of January and are estimated to make anywhere between €5million and €12million.

They would play two teams from each of the four Europa League pots and would likely face some big European sides.

@hearts.standard Could Hearts be on their way t0 the Europa League groups? #heartofmidlothian #hmfc #heartsfc #scottishfootball #spfl ♬ original sound - Hearts Standard