The Champions League Race: A Perplexing Turn of Events
It looked like the race for a Champions League spot in the Premier League was over just a few weeks ago, but Liverpool’s seven-game winning streak has put them back in contention. While Manchester City and Arsenal are guaranteed top-four finishes, Newcastle United and Manchester United are looking to join them.
A Big Step for Newcastle
Newcastle took a giant leap towards securing Champions League qualification with their recent win against Brighton. However, Eddie Howe stated that they’re not getting ahead of themselves after the game, despite being on track to make it to Europe’s elite competition.
Although Liverpool is just one point behind fourth-placed Manchester United, they have played one more match than their rivals. Manager Jurgen Klopp acknowledged that it would be unlikely for his team to qualify but said that they needed to be ready if any slip-ups occurred from other teams. The Reds were once trailing by twelve points earlier this month but now find themselves within touching distance thanks to their recent form while Manchester United has faltered lately.
The Top Seven Clubs Are All Vying For European Spots
The sides finishing within the top seven will secure some sort of European football next season – below we take a look at how things stand.
Manchester City And Arsenal Leading The Way
The current Premier League leaders Man City could boast about winning both domestic and continental titles as they head into Sunday’s match against Chelsea having secured champions league qualification already.Arsenal too sits comfortably at second place with an impressive total of eighty-one points.
Newcastle Close to Confirmation
Newcastle are third and need only a win from their remaining two matches to secure their place among the top four of Premier League contenders.
Manchester United & Liverpool Fight For European Football Spot
Currently fourth with sixty-six points, Manchester United is facing stiff competition from fifth-placed club Liverpool who have played one additional game more than them. While Nielsen’s Gracenote data experts predict Newcastle will finish in the top four with a probability of 91%, Manchester United has an 80% chance. In comparison, Liverpool’s chances have dropped from 45% to just 30% after Newcastle’s win over Brighton.
Possible Five English Teams Qualification for Champions League?
If Man City wins this year’s Champions league trophy while finishing outside Top Four, that opens up options for five English teams instead of the usual four.
The Battle For Europa Spots
The clubs finishing ahead of seventh position will be going into different tiers of Europe next season.
- If they don’t qualify via domestic or continental performance, FA Cup winners (Man Utd) secures either a Europa Conference League group stage spot or goes through playoffs – depending on where they finish domestically.
Liverpool And Brighton Most Likely To Make It To Group Stage Of Europa League
With Tottenham lurking closely behind them and Aston Villa following suit by a point as well,Liverpool sits at fifth place seven points clear above sixth-placed Brighton.
Simon Gleave who heads sports analysis at Nielsen’s Gracenote reveals that according to Euro Club Index,Liverpool along with Brighton remain heavy favorites(67%)to play in next season’s Europa League group phase.
The Premier League has always been full of surprises, and this season is no different. With the race for Champions League qualification heating up, and Newcastle United looking strong, it’s anyone’s guess as to which teams will make the cut. However, one thing is sure that fans are in for a thrilling end to the current campaign.