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How Premier League teams qualify for Champions League and Europa competitions for 24/25



It kept being forgotten as we always write and talk about the battle for a top-four place but the new format of the Champions League – which changes to a ‘Swiss model’ next season – meant that there was a good chance of five clubs from England being in the Champions League.

There will be 36 clubs competing in next season’s Champions League instead of 32 and two of those extra four places will come from the best-performing nations in 23/24,

In five of the last six seasons, the Premier League would have been allocated an extra place – which would go to the team in fifth. But basically Premier League teams have f***ed it this season and the extra places will now go to Italy (definitely) and Germany (almost definitely).

Should England remain outside of the top two performing countries in 23/24, the top four teams in the Premier League will qualify for the Champions League group stage. They will not play in qualifying.

So what about the other European competitions?

Europa League
There are two Europa League places up for grabs. One belongs to the highest-placed finisher not in the Champions League, which will almost certainly now mean fifth place. Of course, a league finish that appeared set to earn a Champions League place but now won’t can only be occupied by Tottenham and that is currently very correctly the case. The other Europa spot goes to the winners of the FA Cup. If that’s Manchester City, then that spot instead goes to whoever is sixth in the league. If Man United win the cup, it’s slightly messier but they would take the second Europa League spot regardless of their final league position. Were they to finish outside the top six and win the cup, then sixth place would mean a spot in the…

Europa Conference League
As well as all the fizzy pop they can drink, the Carabao Cup winners also receive a place in the play-off stages for the Europa Conference League. Liverpool are sure of a Europa League spot at worst (and it really would have to be very, very worst to be that now) via the league and thus will not need the spot they secured after beating Chelsea, so it will revert to the highest-placed finisher not otherwise in Europe. 


Fifth would normally earn a Europa League place, with sixth also claiming that honour if the FA Cup winners have already qualified for Europe.

The same applies when the Carabao Cup winners have already qualified for Europe, as is the case this year, with the next-best-placed team in the Premier League qualifying for the play-off stages of the Europa Conference League.

That place went to Aston Villa this season and they vanquished Hibernian in the play-off stages to reach the Conference League group stages, from which they advanced comfortably into the knockouts and now the semi-finals.

Should they follow West Ham in winning that competition this season, they will qualify for the Europa League. It is vanishingly unlikely they will need that spot given they are almost certain to finish fifth at worst. The Premier League would only get an extra Europa League spot if Villa win the Conference League and finish outside European qualification via the league, which is not going to happen.

Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City have effectively sewn up three of the Champions League spots but amusingly none of the three are yet mathematically secure. All have, though, got themselves at worst a Europa League place, while Villa are also guaranteed European football of some kind as they can finish no lower than sixth, which is now certain to be at least a Conference spot.


European qualifiers for 2024/25 from Premier League as it stands
Champions League: Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Aston Villa.
Europa League: Tottenham and Manchester United
Conference League: Newcastle.

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