The UEFA Champions League is Europe’s most premier club competition. Only the top rated teams across the leagues in Europe have the opportunity of playing in this prestigious competition. In fact, for some clubs, qualification for the UCL is their main target by the end of the season. It is the same for clubs in the English Premier League.
According to UEFA co-efficient system, the top three ranked countries – England, Spain and Germany get to have automatic slots for their top 3 ranked clubs while the fourth placed club gets to play a set of qualifier games. However, it may be different for teams in the English league this year.
Based on the current impressive performance of English clubs in the European competitions – all 4 representatives are still in the UCL and 2 other teams in the UEFA Europa League, and the current log standings, the fourth placed team may not make it into next year’s UCL. As it stands, Arsenal are fourth, Manchester United are in 5th position while Chelsea are ranked sixth on the log with eight matches left to go. If the season ends this way, and Chelsea wins the Europa League while Manchester United wins the Champions League, then Arsenal will not play in next season’s Champions League. As simple as that.
If two teams finish outside the top four but then go on to win the two European competitions, then the fourth place team is relegated to the UEL. This is similar to the case in 2012 when Tottenham had to play in the UEFA Europa League (UEL) even after finishing the season in fourth position. They were demoted to the Europa League because Chelsea – who had finished the season in 6th place – won the Champions League.
Will something like that happen again this year? We’ll see.
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