English clubs’ hopes of extra Champions League spot hanging by a thread

English clubs’ hopes of extra Champions League spot hanging by a thread

The Premier League’s hopes of securing an extra spot in next season’s expanded Champions League are hanging by a thread after the exits of Manchester City and Arsenal from this season’s competition on Wednesday were followed by those of West Ham and Liverpool from the Europa League on Thursday. Germany are the strong favourites to pip England to the prize.

The situation has ramped up the pressure in the battle between Aston Villa and Tottenham for a fourth-placed Premier League finish. Villa are fourth, three points ahead of Spurs, who have a game in hand.

England have four guaranteed spots in next season’s Champions League which will go to the top four finishers in the Premier League. But with two European leagues to be rewarded with extra places in the new-look 36-team Champions League for 2024-25 – the beneficiaries will be determined by clubs’ performances in all three European competitions this season – the hope has been that fifth in the Premier League could bring a bonus. It is increasingly unlikely.

Italy are assured of one of the two extra spots after the performances of their clubs in Europe this season, with the second coming down to a fight between England and Germany, although France’s Ligue 1 retains an outside shot.

The pendulum has swung towards Germany and away from England, particularly after Bayern Munich got past Arsenal in the Champions League quarter-final and Bayer Leverkusen did likewise against West Ham at the same stage of the Europa League.

With City going out of the Champions League quarter-finals to Real Madrid on penalties and Liverpool coming up short against Atalanta in the Europa League last eight, England have only one club left in Europe – Villa, who beat Lille on Thursday night after a penalty shootout in their Europa Conference League quarter-final.

For England to leapfrog Germany and hold off the possible threat of France, they would almost certainly need Villa to win both legs of their semi-final against Olympiakos and the final. They would also most likely need Bayern, Borussia Dortmund – who got past Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday – and Leverkusen to crash in their respective semi-finals.

France’s hopes, in all probability, would rest on Paris Saint-Germain winning both legs of their Champions League semi-final against Dortmund and the final. They would also surely need Marseille to win both legs of their Europa League semi-final against Atalanta and the final. In that eventuality, they would overhaul England.

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Clubs score two Uefa coefficient points for a win, one for a draw and nothing for a defeat. Penalties are not taken into account, meaning City scored one point for the ‘draw’ after 120 minutes against Madrid. There are also bonus points for getting to certain stages of competitions, with clubs at this stage getting one per round that they reach. All of the points from a nation are added up and divided by the number of teams they have competing in Europe to get their coefficient average.

After Thursday’s ties, Germany have 125.5 points for a coefficient of 17.929 from their seven clubs while England have 139 points for 17.375 from their eight. France have 96.5 points for 16.083 from their six.

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