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Sunday, April 14, 2024

How many Champions League places will the Premier League have next season?

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The Premier League’s hopes of gaining an extra Champions League spot in next season’s revamped competition were given a major boost on Thursday following West Ham United’s crucial win over Freiburg.

The Champions League is being expanded to a 36-team tournament from 2024/25 and two of the extra four places will be awarded to countries whose teams perform best in this season’s European competitions.

As confirmed by Uefa on its website, England currently sits third in the race, behind Italy and Germany, which would mean Serie A and the Bundesliga receive a fifth Champions League place next season.

But the margin between Germany and England shrunk after Thursday’s Europa League results, and England – who have five teams left in European competition this season compared to Germany’s three – are almost certain to overtake Germany and steal that extra Champions League spot.

The Hammers’ win over Freiburg was key to that swing, while Liverpool also went through to the Europa League quarter-finals, and Aston Villa progressed in the Conference League with victory over Ajax.

In the Champions League, Manchester City progressed to the quarter-finals as they completed a 6-2 aggregate victory over FC Copenhagen and Arsenal edged past Porto on penalties.

It is particularly good news for Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, who are fighting to finish in the Premier League’s top four in order to qualify for next season’s Champions League, but who could well now qualify by finishing fifth.

Aston Villa currently hold fourth place in the Premier League – the final automatic spot as things stand – with Tottenham in fifth and Manchester United in sixth position.

Fifth place would guarantee entry to next season’s Champions League should England finish into the top two of this season’s Uefa club coefficient table. The standings are worked out by the total number of club coefficient points obtained by each club from an association divided by the number of clubs from that association.

(Uefa)

If applied last season, England would have finished in the top two along with the Netherlands. England’s coefficient was boosted by Manchester City winning the Champions League and West Ham winning the Europa Conference League.

This season, Italy are top with a score of 16.571, Germany are second on 15.500 and England are third on 14.625. France are next with 14.416.

Both Manchester United and Newcastle United crashed out of the Champions League group stages before Christmas but City and Arsenal made it through.

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