Which Premier League clubs will qualify for the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League?

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The Premier League season is almost over, and the race for a place in Europe is reaching its climax.

We take a look at who is in contention to qualify for the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League, how the FA Cup could affect it and what impact an English team winning a European trophy could have.

– How VAR has affected every Premier League club

This page will be updated through the remainder of the season as the permutations develop.

How many teams qualify for Europe?

The maximum that can qualify from domestic performance in the Premier League — so either league position or by winning the FA Cup or Carabao Cup — is seven.

However, the places reserved for European titleholders are separate if a team does not qualify domestically. Therefore, it is technically possible, though unlikely, for the Premier League to have 10 teams in Europe — the seven domestic qualifiers plus the winners of the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League if they are outside the European places.

With West Ham United in the quarterfinals of the Europa Conference League and unable to finish in the European places in the Premier League, it is possible that eight English teams could take part next season.

Which Premier League places will qualify?

At the start of the season, the top four in the Premier League qualify for the Champions League, while fifth place and the FA Cup winners enter the Europa League. The winners of the Carabao Cup qualify for the Europa Conference League.

Manchester United won the Carabao Cup, so they are guaranteed (at minimum) a place in the Europa Conference League.

Allocation as it stands:
Champions League: 1, 2, 3, 4
Europa League: 5, FA Cup winners
Europa Conference League: Manchester United

However, these places are subject to change depending on who wins the FA Cup, and where Manchester United finish — plus West Ham’s possible success in European competition.

Who is in contention for Europe?

Arsenal (74 points, 31 games) and Manchester City (70, 30 games) are clear in first and second, and both appear certain to be playing in the Champions League next season.

Manchester United (59, 30 games) and Newcastle United (56, 30 games) hold the cards in third and fourth, with Tottenham Hotspur three points further back having played a game more. The final Champions League places are most likely to go to two of these three clubs. However, three clubs could gatecrash the race: Aston Villa (50, 31 games), Brighton & Hove Albion (49, 29 games) and Liverpool (47, 30 games).

The other clubs in contention for Europe are Brentford (43, 31 games), Fulham (42, 30 games) and Chelsea (39, 31 games), but their hopes of contesting for a European place may depend on whether sixth or seventh ends up qualifying.

How can the Premier League ever have 10 teams in Europe?

The three European titleholders would need to finish outside the European places in the Premier League.

This will definitely be the case with West Ham this season, but with only Manchester City left in the Champions League, and no representative the in the Europa League, there is no possibility of 10 teams.

How does qualification work if a team wins a European trophy?

There are four overriding principles:
– The winners of a European competition have the automatic right to European football the following season.
– A team has the right to play in the highest-ranked competition they qualify for.
– One Premier League team cannot be adversely affected by another’s success in Europe.
– A Premier League team cannot get a place because of another’s success in Europe.

If a team wins the Champions League or the Europa League:
– They are guaranteed to play in the Champions League wherever they finish in the Premier League.

If a team wins the Europa Conference League:
– They will play in the Europa League unless they finish in the top four — then they will play in the Champions League.

What could happen to Man United’s Carabao Cup place?

Man United won the Carabao Cup, which comes with a berth in the Europa Conference League, but they will take the place in the higher-ranked competition if they win the FA Cup or finish in the top five; the Europa Conference League slot would transfer to sixth place in the league.

If Man United finish in the top four:
Champions League: 1, 2, 3, Manchester United
Europa League: 5, FA Cup winners
Europa Conference League: 6

If Man United finish fifth:
Champions League: 1, 2, 3, 4
Europa League: Manchester United, FA Cup winners
Europa Conference League: 6

If Man United finish sixth or lower:
Champions League: 1, 2, 3, 4
Europa League: 5, FA Cup winners
Europa Conference League: Manchester United

So how does the FA Cup affect the European places?

Brighton & Hove Albion, Manchester City, Manchester United and Sheffield United are in the semifinals of the FA Cup, to be played on April 22 and 23 (stream both games live on ESPN+, U.S. only)

The effect on the European places works along the same lines as Man United’s Carabao Cup place: if the FA Cup winners qualify for Champions League or the Europa League via the league, the Europa League place for winning the FA Cup transfers to the league.

Manchester City are almost certain to qualify for the Champions League next season, so if they win the FA Cup, the place in the Europa League goes to the Premier League.

If Man City win the FA Cup:
Champions League: 1, 2, 3, 4
Europa League: 5, 6
Europa Conference League: Manchester United

What if Man United win the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup?

If Man United win both cups, their place in the Europa Conference League definitely transfers to the league, and United would have a place in the Europa League. If United finish in the top four, they play in the Champions League and the place in the Europa League for winning the FA Cup goes to sixth place. If United finish outside the top six, the Europa Conference League place goes to sixth.

If Man United win both cups and finish top four:
Champions League: 1, 2, 3, Manchester United
Europa League: 5, 6
Europa Conference League: 7

If Man United win both cups and finish 5th or 6th:
Champions League: 1, 2, 3, 4
Europa League: Manchester United, 5th or 6th
Europa Conference League: 7

If Man United win both cups and finish 7th or lower:
Champions League: 1, 2, 3, 4
Europa League: 5, Manchester United
Europa Conference League: 6

How can seventh qualify for Europe by league position?

This is only the case if Manchester United and the winners of the FA Cup finish in the top six of the Premier League. This would mean seventh gets the place in the Europa Conference League.

Champions League: 1, 2, 3, 4
Europa League: 5, 6
Europa Conference League: 7

The performance of clubs in Europe cannot increase the number of places allocated to final places in the Premier League table.

Can eighth in the Premier League qualify for Europe?

It is impossible for eighth to qualify by league position. This team must win a domestic cup competition or a European title to play in Europe the following season.

What if Man City win the Champions League?

This is almost certain to have no effect on the Premier League as Man City are going to finish in the top four. There is no “drop down” of places to give a fifth Champions League spot.

The position in the group stage for the Champions League titleholders is left vacant. This isn’t filled by giving another team a place, the qualifying rounds are rebalanced with clubs effectively receiving byes.

Ordinarily, the champions of the country ranked 11th in the UEFA coefficient table at the end of the 2021-22 season — Serbia — would go direct to the Champions League group stage, rather than having to qualify. However, Russia are ranked 10th and its clubs remain excluded from European competition. That means the Serbian champions are already guaranteed a place in the group stage.

So, if Man City win the Champions League, it will be the champions of the 12th-ranked country who are given a place in the group stage. This just so happens to be Ukraine.

What if West Ham win the Europa Conference League?

West Ham will earn a place in next season’s Europa League.

As West Ham will not qualify for Europe domestically, England would have eight teams in Europe next season — even if West Ham were to be relegated.

Champions League: 1, 2, 3, 4
Europa League: 5, FA Cup winners, West Ham
Europa Conference League: Manchester United

What if more than one English team wins a European trophy?

In principle, each scenario remains as above, applied in the same way individually to each competition.

So if Man City and also finish in the top four, the allocation to the Premier League is unaltered.

As West Ham cannot qualify domestically, winning the Europa Conference League will add an eighth place — for them as titleholders — regardless of how any other team may perform.

Can fourth place miss out on the Champions League?

It would only be possible if the winners of the Champions League and the winners of the Europa League both finished outside the Premier League’s top four.

If that were to happen, fourth place would play in the Europa League as there’s a maximum of five teams from one country in the Champions League.

In that situation:
Champions League: 1, 2, 3, Manchester City, Manchester United
Europa League: 4, FA Cup winners, West Ham
Europa Conference League: 6

As the Premier League no longer has a team in the Europa League, it cannot happen.

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