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How many English sides can qualify for Europe this season?
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Cian Cheesbrough
Manchester United and Tottenham are battling for European qualification
Manchester United and Tottenham are battling for European qualification

The race for European football is hotting up, with every top-half team still in with a realistic chance of enjoying a continental campaign next season.

With an expanded Champions League and a host of Premier League sides enjoying promising European adventures, there are plenty of different outcomes that could affect how things play out.

We answer all your burning questions about the permutations for European qualification from the Premier League.

Does fifth place get a Champions League spot?

The short answer is that it remains likely fifth place in the Premier League will earn a Champions League spot — even though the places will go to Serie A and Bundesliga clubs as it stands.

Manchester United and Newcastle's group-stage exits in the Champions League mean England have slipped to third in the coefficient rankings.

Having six of their eight teams still in Europe is a slight benefit to Germany's five of seven, while Italy lead the way despite Lazio's Champions League elimination with six of seven of their teams still in the hunt for glory.

But given UEFA hand out a similar number of coefficient points for success in both the Champions League and the Europa League, England remain in a strong position to finish in the top two.

Champions League holders Manchester City are the favourites to repeat the trick, with Liverpool backed to win the Europa League and Aston Villa the Europa Conference League — for which coefficient points hold less weight but could still be significant.

West Ham's Europa League last-16 tie with Freiburg could have a real effect on the rankings, with David Moyes' men handed the opportunity to dump another German side out and bolster England's hopes.

Who can qualify for the Europa League?

England's two Europa League spots go to the winners of the FA Cup and the highest league finishers who did not seal a Champions League place.

That would usually be fifth place but could be sixth this time around — currently occupied by Erik ten Hag's Red Devils.

Furthermore, if the FA Cup winners qualify for the Champions League through their league position, then the next best team in the league — likely seventh — will also seal a spot.

The prospect of European nights may therefore give quarter-finalists Chelsea, Wolves or Newcastle extra incentive to go all the way in England's famous old competition, with qualification through their respective league positions looking a tall order.

It also means Championship outfit Coventry, who face Wolves in the last eight, have a chance of Europe next season if they defy the odds and triumph at Wembley in May.

Who can qualify for the Europa Conference League?

Liverpool's Carabao Cup triumph secured them a place in the Europa Conference League
Liverpool's Carabao Cup triumph secured them a place in the Europa Conference League

Like West Ham proved last season and Aston Villa are hoping to replicate in 2023-24, the Europa Conference League is a great chance for English clubs to enjoy success in Europe.

Liverpool have technically been handed qualification to UEFA's third-tier competition by virtue of their Carabao Cup final triumph over Chelsea last month.

But given the title-chasing Reds are on course for Champions League football, the Europa Conference League place will go to the highest-finishing top-flight side not already in Europe.

Last season that was seventh-placed Villa but this term could be as low as eighth or even ninth — currently occupied by Newcastle and Brighton respectively with Wolves a point behind in 10th.

What if English teams lift a European trophy?

Manchester City won the Champions League last season
Manchester City won the Champions League last season

Success for English sides currently in Europe means there is a possibility of the Premier League having nine representatives across UEFA's competitions next term.

Both the Champions League and Europa League winners automatically get a seat at Europe's top table.

So if a team from outside the top five — Brighton or West Ham — wins the Europa League, that could see six Premier League teams qualify for the Champions League.

However, European triumphs for Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool or Villa are unlikely to open up extra qualification spots, with those sides already on course to qualify for Europe through their league positions.


Premier LeagueChampions LeagueEuropa LeagueEuropa Conference LeagueManchester UnitedManchester CityArsenalLiverpoolAston VillaTottenham HotspurWest Ham UnitedBrighton & Hove AlbionChelseaWolverhampton Wanderers
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