The race for Europe: Which Premier League clubs will qualify for the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League?

The race for Europe looks set to go down to the wire even with Newcastle and Manchester United set to join Manchester City and Arsenal in securing Champions League football.

Newcastle and Manchester United have moved to the cusp of Champions League qualification and need just a point from their remaining two games to secure a top-four spot after Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa on Saturday.

Eddie Howe’s Newcastle side take on Leicester, live on Sky Sports on Monday, before facing Chelsea on the final day of the season.

Manchester United host Chelsea in their penultimate Premier League game on Thursday, live on Sky Sports, and welcome Fulham to Old Trafford on the final day.

Liverpool’s chances of Champions League football now seem remote and their final game of the season is away at already-relegated Southampton.

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Manchester United’s remaining games: Chelsea (h), Fulham (h)

Newcastle’s remaining games: Leicester (h), Chelsea (a)

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Liverpool’s remaining game: Southampton (a)

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What about the Europa League and Conference League?

Elsewhere, Brighton look set to be playing Europa League football next season after beating Southampton 3-1 on Sunday.

Roberto De Zerbi’s side are three points ahead of seventh-placed Aston Villa and need just a point from their final two games to secure a spot in Europe’s second competition. Brighton, who at the very least will play Europa League Conference football next season, host newly-crowned champions Manchester City on Wednesday, before travelling to Villa Park on the final day.

Mathematically, it’s still possible for Villa (58 points) to finish above Brighton (61), but it could only happen if Brighton lose both of their remaining games with a 17-goal swing in Villa’s favour.

Brighton’s remaining games: Manchester City (h), Aston Villa (a)

Aston Villa’s remaining game: Brighton (h)

Villa, Tottenham (57 points) and Brentford (56 points) go into the final day of the season with a chance of playing in the Europe Conference league with the team which finishes seventh in the Premier League collecting that berth.

For Brentford to finish seventh, they have to beat City and hope that Villa don’t win against Brighton or Tottenham don’t win at Leeds.

Tottenham will finish above Villa if they better Villa’s result on the final day as the two teams are currently level on goal difference.

And Villa are certain of finishing seventh if they defeat Brighton or if they draw and Tottenham don’t win. In the event that Villa draw, Tottenham lose and Brentford win, Brentford would finish seventh on goal difference.

Tottenham’s remaining game: Leeds (a)

Brentford’s remaining game: Manchester City (h)

What if West Ham win the Europa Conference League?

West Ham will earn a place in next season’s Europa League group stage should they beat Fiorentina in Prague on June 7.

As the Hammers will not qualify for Europe domestically, England would have eight teams in Europe next season.

Maximum eight teams can qualify for Europe

The maximum that can qualify from domestic performance in the Premier League – 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.

With West Ham in the semi-finals 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.

The state of play

So that means, the European qualification picture is as follows:

  • Champions League: Man City (Q), Arsenal (Q), Newcastle, Manchester United
  • Europa League: Liverpool, Brighton, West Ham (tbc)
  • Europa Conference League: Aston Villa

How many teams will qualify for Europe based on Premier League position?

  • The top four in the Premier League qualify for the Champions League group stage
  • Fifth place and the FA Cup winners qualify for the Europa League group stage
  • The Carabao Cup winners qualify for the Europa Conference League playoff

However, as one of Man City and Man Utd are going to win the FA Cup and finish in the top five their Europa League qualifying spot for winning the competition will be passed down to the next highest Premier League finisher who doesn’t qualify for Europe, so sixth place.

Also, because Man Utd won the Carabao Cup and will finish in the top five, their Europa Conference League qualifying spot will go to the next highest Premier League finisher without European football, so seventh place.

And finally: Why Man City winning the Champions League could be good news for Ukraine…

It will not affect the Premier League representatives as City are going to finish in the top four regardless. A fifth Champions League spot is not filtered down via the league positions.

But a place in the group stage for the Champions League titleholders is left vacant. In this event, the champions of the country ranked 11th in the UEFA coefficient table at the end of the 2021/22 season – which is Serbia – would go direct to the Champions League group stage, rather than having to qualify.

However, with Russia ranked 10th and its clubs remaining excluded from European competition, the Serbian champions are already guaranteed a place in the group stage.

That means the champions of the 12th-ranked country – Ukraine – would be given a place in the group stage if City finally lift the Champions League trophy in Istanbul.

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