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How Chelsea and Man Utd can qualify for Europe ahead of Premier League final day

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Chelsea face Bournemouth while Man Utd play Brighton on the final day (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea and Manchester United both have just one Premier League fixture left with the two teams looking to book a spot in Europe for the 2024-25 season.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side beat Brighton 2-1 in their penultimate top-flight match on Wednesday while United recorded a 3-2 victory over Newcastle.

Those results mean Chelsea and United sit sixth and eighth in the Premier League table respectively ahead of the final round of games on Sunday.

Chelsea host AFC Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge in their last match while Erik ten Hag’s men face a trip to Brighton.

The four Champions League spots have already been clinched by Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool and Aston Villa and those four cannot be caught.

That means that Chelsea and United are fighting for spots in the Europa League and Europa Conference League alongside Tottenham and Newcastle.



How does Europa League qualification work?

With the Premier League top four already decided, attentions have turned to who will qualify for the Europa League and Europa Conference League.

Whoever finishes the season in fifth place – most likely to be Tottenham at this stage – will earn a spot in the Europa League but sixth and seventh are a little more complicated.

That’s because Manchester United are playing in the FA Cup final against Manchester City later this month.

If United win the FA Cup, they will qualify for the Europa League no matter where they finish in the top-flight. Should they win the FA Cup and finish sixth, then whoever finishes seventh will qualify for the Europa Conference League.

If United win the FA Cup and finish lower than sixth, then the team who finishes seventh will miss out on a European spot altogether with the side who finishes sixth earning a spot in the Europa Conference League.

If City win the FA Cup, then a sixth-placed finish would earn a spot in the Europa League and the Europa Conference League spot will go to whoever finishes seventh.

How can Chelsea qualify for Europe?

Chelsea did not feature in Europe this season after finishing 12th last term (Picture: Getty)

It is thought that Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino could lose his job at the end of the season if the west Londoners fail to qualify for Europe.

Chelsea’s win over Brighton means they can finish as high as fifth but they would need Tottenham to lose to Sheffield United and also beat Bournemouth.

Sixth is a bit more realistic which could mean a Europa League spot or Europa Conference League spot, depending on how the FA Cup final goes.

The Blues only need a point against Bournemouth to be sure of finishing sixth. If they lose to the Cherries and Newcastle beat Brentford, then Chelsea will drop to seventh. That could see them miss out on Europe, but only if the Red Devils win the FA Cup.

How can Man Utd qualify for Europe?

Man Utd crashed out of this season’s Champions League in the group stage (Picture: Getty)

Forgetting about the Premier League for a second, Manchester United will book a Europa League spot if they beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final on May 25, regardless of where they finish in the league.

If United lose the FA Cup final, they will need to finish sixth to secure a place in the Europa League, while seventh will land them a spot in the Europa Conference League.

Victory against Newcastle means United could mathematically finish as high as sixth if Chelsea and Newcastle lose on the final day, although it is virtually impossible due to a massive goal-difference gap.

Seventh is much more realistic, but even then United need to better Newcastle’s result on the final day. If United lose to Brighton – they cannot clinch seventh – and would miss out on Europe if they lose the FA Cup final.

Newcastle play Brentford in their final match and United need them to drop points to have any chance of finishing seventh.

If Newcastle lose to Brentford, a point against Brighton would be enough for United to grab the seventh spot. If Newcastle and Brentford draw, United will need to win.


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