The race for Europe is on, but which teams will get there – and how many – remains to be determined.
How many English teams qualify for European football?
There are Seven European spots open to English teams – although that number could have reached nine and the number of teams in each individual competition could have changed.
As a basis:
- The four first in the Premier League to qualify for the Champions League group stage
- Fifth place and the FA Cup winners qualify for the Europe League group stage
- The Carabao Cup winners qualify for the Europe Conference League playoffs
However, as this season the FA Cup winner will be Liverpool or Chelsea, and both of these teams are expected to finish in the top four, their Europa League qualification spot to win the FA Cup will be passed to the next best Premier finisher. League. who does not qualify for Europe.
Likewise, as Liverpool have won the Carabao Cup and are expected to finish in the top four, their Europa Conference League qualification spot from that competition will go to the next best Premier League finisher without European football.
So that means sides that end sixth and seventh in the Premier League table are in contention for a place either in the Europe League or Europe Conference League next season.
As it is
Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal would qualify for the Champions League by finishing in the top four positions in the Premier League.
Tottenham would enter the Europa League, with Manchester United (who would enter thanks to Chelsea or Liverpool moving in their place after winning the FA Cup).
West Ham, seventh, would qualify for the Europa Conference League, thanks to the transfer of the place of the winner of the Carabao Cup from Liverpool.
Who is already qualified?
Manchester City and liverpool cleared at the top of the Premier League, and while their battle to win the Premier League title continues, they need not worry about qualifying for the Champions League.
Meanwhile, the last two spots in the top four are still up for grabs with Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham in contention with four games remaining. However, whatever the result, it will be at least a top six for chelsea and Arsenalwho returns to European competition after missing last season.
Although it’s not yet done mathematically, Spurs have all but guaranteed a Europa League place with a nine-point gap between them and seventh-placed West Ham, who have just three games left to play this season. Antonio Conte’s side also have a much better goal difference than the Hammers.
The battle for the final place in the Europa League continues between Man Utd and West Hamwhile wolves also intend to finish seventh and potentially secure a place in the Europa Conference League.
What if Liverpool won the Champions League?
If Liverpool win the Champions League, they will automatically qualify for the group stages of the competition next season. That’s regardless of where they finish in the Premier League table.
If they qualify for the competition by two methods – that is: they win it and finish in the top four – there is no additional Champions League place created for another team to be filled. and the number of Premier League clubs in the Champions League next season will remain at four.
The Premier League could have had a maximum of five teams in the Champions League next season if West Ham had won the Europa League and finished outside the top four. Winning this competition would have qualified them for the Champions League group stages.
Yes Leicester had won the Europa Conference League, they would have automatically qualified for next season’s Europa League – another extra European spot.
This means that if West Ham and Leicester had won their competitions and finished outside the Premier League top seven, there would have been nine English teams in European competition next season.
If Leicester had won the Europa Conference League and finished seventh – the place to be rewarded with a Europa Conference League place – there would have been no English side in the Europa Conference League next season, as Leicester would have been propelled to the Europa League. It happened in Spain last season with Sevilla and no La Liga side involved in the Europa Conference League.
As it is
With Liverpool and Manchester City in the Champions League semi-finals, there is a strong chance that an English side will win the tournament – but that would have no impact on European qualification, with both sides needing to finish in the four raw.
West Ham are in the semi-finals of the Europa League and an additional Champions League place is up for grabs if they win this competition. Their place in the Europa Conference League for finishing seventh would disappear.
Leicester – 10 points off seventh place with two games less – could play European football again next year if they progress from their semi-final and win the Europa Conference League to earn a further Europa League place.
Eighth and out?
Regardless of any swaps, no team finishing eighth in the Premier League will qualify for Europe, unless they have won a domestic or European cup.
As it is
Eighth-placed Wolves would be the highest-ranked Premier League side to miss out on European football, despite being just three points behind West Ham and five behind Manchester United, with a game less on both.
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