We’re in the final three rounds of Premier League matches as the clubs try and secure their spots in next season’s European competitions.
Monday’s news that the Court of Arbitration for Sport had overturned the two-season ban handed out to Manchester City by Uefa has left their rivals scrambling, knowing that a fifth-place finish will no longer be good enough to secure Champions League football.
City will finish second this season, so they along with champions Liverpool have guaranteed their place in next season’s Champions League.
But who else can qualify, and which teams will be fighting for the Europa League places?
Champions League qualification race
Chelsea, Leicester City and Manchester United are the front runners, with Chelsea (currently in third) needing four points to secure their place, but they face tricky fixtures against Wolves and Liverpool in their remaining two games.
Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester have three matches remaining, and need to win all three to be sure of qualification.
They have only once since the restart, and face tough fixtures against Tottenham, Sheffield United and Manchester United – with that final day meeting with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side likely to decide their fate.
Manchester United are in the same situation but have more favourable fixtures against Crystal Palace and West Ham before they meet the Foxes.
Wolves hopes slimmed dramatically after they controversially dropped points against Burnley. They must beat Crystal Palace and Chelsea and hope other results go their way.
Tottenham’s chances are by far the slimmest despite Wednesday’ night’s win at Newcastle. Spurs are four points off the top four but have played a game more that Leicester City and Manchester United. They need to win both their remaining games (Leicester, Crystal Palace) to stand any chance, but would require other results to go their way.
It’s the same situation for Sheffield United as well, with the Blades facing Leicester, Everton and Southampton in their final games.
With Leicester and Manchester United already on 59 points and playing each other on the final day, Arsenal cannot qualify for the Champions League.
We could still have a play-off as well!
If Leicester City and Manchester United finish in fourth and fifth, level on points, goal difference and goals scored, then it goes down to head-to-head record (factoring in away goals). United won 1-0 at Old Trafford in September. And if Leicester replicated that result with a win 1-0 on the final day then they would need a play-off to decide who finishes fourth. Imagine that! Continue reading