Premier League: Chelsea, Man Utd, Tottenham and Newcastle in race for European football qualification

Premier League: Chelsea, Man Utd, Tottenham and Newcastle in race for European football qualification

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Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Aston Villa will play in the Champions League next season; Tottenham, Man Utd, Newcastle and Chelsea are battling for Europa League and Conference League qualification

It is not just the identity of the Premier League champions that will be decided on the final day of the season – Europa League and Conference League qualification is also set to be determined in the final round of matches.

Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool have qualified for the Champions League – and they were joined by Aston Villa on Tuesday after Tottenham lost to Pep Guardiola’s side.

But the Europa League and Conference League places are still up for grabs, with Tottenham, Manchester United, Newcastle and Chelsea all in the mix.


Chelsea take big step towards European qualification

Cole Palmer helped steer Chelsea a step closer to European qualification by scoring his 22nd Premier League goal of the season in a pulsating 2-1 win at Brighton on Wednesday.

The Blues are in the box seat and know that should they avoid defeat at home to Bournemouth on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, they will play in the Europa League next season provided Manchester United lose the FA Cup final.

And if Chelsea beat Bournemouth and Tottenham lose to Sheffield United, they will finish in fifth spot and be guaranteed Europa League football regardless of the outcome at Wembley.

Can Spurs be caught in the Europa League race?

The team finishing fifth in the Premier League will qualify for the Europa League. The position is currently held by Tottenham, who are three points clear of Chelsea. Newcastle’s loss at Manchester United mean they cannot catch Spurs.

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Highlights from Tottenham’s match against Manchester City in the Premier League

Mauricio Pochettino’s side could move above Ange Postecoglou’s men if they win their final fixture.

Chelsea will also need Spurs to lose at Sheffield United on Sunday – the final day of the season – if that is to happen.

Man Utd are six points behind Spurs so cannot qualify for the Europa League through the league – but they could still enter the competition via the FA Cup.

What about the Conference League?

The Conference League place goes to the side finishing sixth in the Premier League. That is currently Chelsea but, as stated above, Spurs could still drop out of the Europa League slot.

With United in the FA Cup final against City, we will not know precisely who is in which European competition until after that Wembley showdown on May 25.

But should City prevail, it will mean the side who finishes in seventh – currently Newcastle – plays Europa Conference League football next season.

Eddie Howe’s side face an away trip to Brentford on the final day and should they better United’s result at Brighton, they will occupy this spot in the final standings.

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Watch highlights of the Premier League match between Brighton and Chelsea

Tottenham’s remaining fixture

May 19: Sheffield United (A) – Premier League, kick-off 4pm

Newcastle’s remaining fixtures

May 19: Brentford (A) – Premier League, kick-off 4pm

Chelsea’s remaining fixtures

May 19: Bournemouth (H) – Premier League, kick-off 4pm, live on Sky Sports

Man Utd’s remaining fixtures

May 19: Brighton (A) – Premier League, kick-off 4pm

May 25: Man City (N) – FA Cup final, kick-off 3pm

But the FA Cup could change things…

The winners of the FA Cup – which will see Man City and Man Utd contest the final at Wembley on May 25 – are also handed a Europa League place.

If City retain the trophy, they will not take the Europa League place given they are guaranteed a Champions League spot. In that case, their Europa League berth goes to the side finishing sixth in the Premier League.

The knock-on effect would be that the team finishing seventh in the league would qualify for the Conference League.

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Newcastle United’s Anthony Gordon was left fuming after VAR failed to award him a penalty in the first half against Manchester United following a challenge from Sofyan Amrabat

However, if United win the FA Cup, they will qualify for the Europa League, as well as the team finishing fifth in the Premier League.

In that scenario, the side in sixth would play in the Conference League and the side in seventh would miss out on Europe.

But if United finish sixth and win the FA Cup, the Conference League place again moves down to the side finishing seventh.

As it stands: Who qualifies for Europe if Man Utd win the FA Cup?

Champions League: Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Aston Villa

Europa League: Tottenham, Man Utd (as FA Cup winners)

Conference League: Chelsea

As it stands: Who qualifies for Europe if Man Utd DON’T win the FA Cup?

Champions League: Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Aston Villa

Europa League: Tottenham, Chelsea

Conference League: Newcastle

How does the new Champions League format work?

Next season's Scottish Premiership winner will face one qualification round to enter the Champions League, with three qualifiers facing the runners-up
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The Champions League format is changing for next season

Taking the total number of teams from 32 to 36 in the Champions League, the biggest change will see a transformation from the traditional group stage to a single league phase including all participating teams.

Every club will now be guaranteed a minimum of eight league-stage games against eight different opponents (four home games, four away) rather than the previous six matches against three teams, played on a home-and-away basis.

The top eight sides in the league will qualify automatically for the knockout stage, while the teams finishing in ninth to 24th place will compete in a two-legged play-off to secure their path to the last 16 of the competition.

Teams ranked 25-36 are eliminated from all competitions.

Europa League and Europa Conference League changing too?

Similar changes will be made to the Europa League and Europa Conference League formats, with 36 teams in each.

Teams in the Europa League will have eight matches against eight different opponents in the league phase.

In the Europa Conference League – renamed the UEFA Conference League – teams will have six matches against six different opponents in the league phase. The UEFA Conference League games will be played between September and December.

The knockout phase of the competitions will take place through the second half of the season and culminate at the end of the campaign, as they do now.

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