Which Premier League sides qualify for Europe this season?

Which Premier League sides qualify for Europe this season?

As well as a dramatic title race and relegation scrap, the Premier League is heading for a frantic late scramble to decide the final European places this season – with several spots still up for grabs as we enter the final week of the campaign.

Aston Villa are in the driving seat to secure the fourth Champions League place, in what would be a stunning achievement for Unai Emery’s side. But Tottenham Hotspur are still mathematically in with a shout, even if a poor run of form for Ange Postecoglou’s side has Spurs looking over their shoulders as well.

Manchester United, meanwhile, suddenly face competition for sixth, as both Newcastle United and Chelsea enjoy resurgent ends to difficult campaigns. So, with a week of the season to go, here’s how the battle for the final European places is shaping up.

First of all, how many European places are there?

The Premier League had to settle for the usual four Champions League places after Serie A and the Bundesliga nabbed an extra fifth place, following changes to the competition’s format next season.

After that, fifth guarantees a place in the Europa League next season, while sixth gets you entry to the Europa Conference League. That’s after Liverpool (who have qualified for the Champions League) won the EFL Cup in February.

However, that could all change!

The winners of the FA Cup also qualify for the Europa League. If Manchester City (who have qualified for the Champions League) beat Manchester United to win the FA Cup final, then Europa League would go to sixth place, and seventh goes to Europa Conference League.

If Manchester United win the FA Cup and finish sixth, seventh still goes to Europa Conference League. But if Manchester United beat City, and finish outside the top six, then United would qualify for the Europa League and whoever finishes sixth would go to the Europa Conference League. So, who gets there?

4th: Aston Villa

Points: 67 (played 36)

GD: +20

Remaining fixtures: Liverpool (H), Crystal Palace (A)

Aston Villa could qualify for the Champions League even if they lose their final two games of the season, which is handy given Unai Emery’s side seem to have run out of legs and their remaining fixtures – against Liverpool on Monday and at in-form Crystal Palace on the final day – are tricky.

But fourth place and a sensational return to the Champions League will be confirmed if Tottenham slip up in any of their remaining three games. If Spurs win their final three, one win or two draws should get Villa over the line. They will hope it doesn’t come down to that.

Villa were beaten in the Europa Conference League semi-finals but can book their Champions League spot by beating Liverpool (Getty Images)

5th: Tottenham

Points: 60 (played 35)

GD: +11

Remaining fixtures: Burnley (H), Man City (H), Sheffield United (A)

After losing four games in a row, Tottenham must win their remaining three games to keep their top-four hopes alive. Unfortunately for Ange Postecoglou, that includes a home fixture against Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola’s side going for the title against… Tottenham’s north London rivals Arsenal.

Is fifth safe? Despite their form, on paper Tottenham should pick up enough points against Burnley and already relegated Sheffield United on the final day to get over the line. They need two more wins to guarantee it with Newcastle, their closest challengers, still able to get to 65 points. Eddie Howe’s side have a better goal difference, too. A Europa League return beckons, though.

Tottenham have lost four in a row for the first time in 20 years (Getty Images)

6th: Newcastle

Points: 56 (played 35)

GD: +22

Remaining fixtures: Burnley (H), Man Utd (A), Brentford (A)

Only Manchester City have picked up as many points as Newcastle over the last six games, with Eddie Howe’s side winning their last four in a row to shoot up the table. They are in the driving seat for sixth, which would be good enough for the Europa League unless Manchester United win the FA Cup and finish below them. The visit to Old Trafford on Wednesday is key, however. A draw would be a good result given their superior goal difference over Chelsea.

Newcastle are in-form under Eddie Howe after an injury-hit season (Getty Images)

7th: Chelsea

Points: 54 (played 35)

GD: +11

Remaining fixtures: Forest (A), Brighton (A), Bournemouth (H)

The mood around Stamford Bridge has been transformed following wins over Tottenham and West Ham, which have also reignited Chelsea’s chances of qualifying for Europe. Mauricio Pochettino’s side arguably have the better run-in, but would need Newcastle to lose at least one of their games to overtake Eddie Howe’s side into sixth.

Fifth is not beyond them, either, as long as they win out. But Chelsea would need Tottenham to lose at least two games, or fail to win any of their final three, while still requiring Newcastle to drop points in at least two. Chelsea’s advantage is that Manchester United and Newcastle play each other and one of them is guaranteed to drop points on Wednesday.

Pochettino’s side have clicked since the 5-0 defeat to Arsenal last month (Getty Images)

8th: Manchester United

Points: 54 (played 35)

GD: -3

Remaining fixtures: Arsenal (H), Newcastle (H), Brighton (A)

Erik ten Hag’s side have just one win in seven in the Premier League – at home to bottom-side Sheffield United – and have the hardest run-in of the teams who are immediately above them.

They could still boost their chances of qualifying for Europe by getting a draw against Arsenal and a win against Newcastle – although their terrible goal difference would require Newcastle to slip up at least once against Burnley or Brentford, as well as Chelsea dropping points somewhere.

United will also qualify for the Europa League if they win the FA Cup.

Erik ten Hag has overseen a dreadful campaign at Old Trafford (Getty Images)

Source: independent.co.uk