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Premier League’s hopes of gaining extra Champions League spot dealt blow

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The Premier League’s hopes of gaining an extra Champions League spot in next season’s revamped competition have been dealt a blow following a poor night of results in Europe this week.

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 their 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.

The margin between Germany and England has widened following Thursday’s Europa League results.

Brighton were thrashed 4-0 by Roma while West Ham were beaten at Freiburg, although the Hammers will hope to overturn that result at the London Stadium next week.

Aston Villa were held to a 0-0 draw by Ajax in Amsterdam in the Europa Conference League, which means Liverpool were the only winners following their 5-1 victory over Sparta Prague.

In the Champions League, Manchester City progressed to the quarter-finals as they completed a 6-2 aggregate victory over FC Copenhagen

It means Manchester United and Tottenham may need to rely on strong performances from respective rivals City and Arsenal if England is to earn a fifth spot in next season’s Champions League.

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.


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 Manchester City and Arsenal made it through to the last-16.

Arsenal lost the first leg of their last-16 tie against Porto but will be hopeful of overturning that 1-0 defeat at the Emirates on Tuesday 12 March.

Meanwhile, Liverpool’s victory in the Carabao Cup final means seventh place will now carry entry to the Europa Conference League, assuming the Reds finish in the top four.

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