Liverpool, Leicester or Spurs could finish 4th but still fail to qualify for the Champions League
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As we approach the end of the season, the race for Champions League places is hotting up.
In what has been a strange year in sports, with no fans in grounds, it has produced some unprecedented results and huge lacks in consistency.
This has meant that there are still a huge amount of sites which can technically qualify for the Champions League.
Just 10 points separates 4th from 10th with a number of teams still to play one another and points on offer over the next 6-7 games.
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 11: Ricardo Pereira of Leicester City in action with Aaron Cresswell of West Ham United during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Leicester City at London Stadium on April 11, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)
Some of the biggest surprises this season has been the continuation of Leicester’s push for a top 4 finish from last year. However, a typical drop in form towards the end of the campaign threatens to once again see them miss out on Europe’s elite.
However, most surprising of all has been West Ham United who see themselves sit in 4th place. Chelsea and Liverpool have played a game less and could overtake them but qualification for Europe is still very possible.
4th not enough
As impressive has been the performances of English sides on the continent this season. However, this high quality output could mean that 4th place is not enough for some sides to qualify for next season’s top European tournament.
Due to the English league’s coefficient in the UEFA rankings, the Premier League’s top 4 spots give clubs automatic qualification into the Champions League.
However, there are two other ways in which a side can qualify, through either winning the Champions League itself or the second tier competition the Europa League.
With 4 English clubs still in play across the two competitions it could be feasible for sides from the Premier League to pick up both accolades.
This could cause complications if both sides happen to finish outside the top 4 in England. Both Arsenal and Chelsea in each competition currently sit 9th and 5th respectively opening up this possibility.
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN – MAY 29: Andreas Christiansen of Chelsea celebrates with the Europa League Trophy following his team’s victory in the UEFA Europa League Final between Chelsea and Arsenal at Baku Olimpiya Stadionu on May 29, 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Due to the fact that only a maximum of 5 teams from one league can take part in the UCL, 4th position would then become a Europa League qualification spot.
Teams such as Liverpool, West Ham, Spurs, Leicester and Everton could all still reach the place and yet not qualify due to matters out of their hands.
Only time will tell whether the peculiar scenario occurs.
If Chelsea win Champions League & Arsenal the Europa League, with neither finishing in top four of the PL then the side finishing 4th in the PL probably won’t qualify for next season’s Champions League. This is because a maximum of five clubs from one country can participate
— PriceOfFootball (@KieranMaguire) April 18, 2021