Manchester United, Chelsea and Newcastle’s chances of qualifying for Europe explained

All the usual twists and turns make the race for a Premier League European spot particularly interesting in the final days of the season.

The top four looks almost a lock. Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool are certain to be in the Champions League next season, and Aston Villa may not need another point to join them.

Tottenham look to pose the toughest challenge to Unai Emery’s side, but four consecutive defeats have left them eyeing a Europa League spot – especially after the English side missed out on qualifying for next season’s Champions League After the opportunity for seats.

To ensure this, though, Spurs will need to fend off three teams chasing them from below – Newcastle United, Chelsea and Manchester United. Two of the three will secure a Europa League spot, one will play in the divisional league and one will miss out on European football entirely.

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How does the Europa League qualifying round work?

There are two places for English teams in the Europa League every season. One is awarded to the FA Cup winner and the other to the fifth-placed team in the Premier League.

If the FA Cup winner finishes in the top five of the Premier League, the Europa League spot will be awarded to the sixth-placed team.

Supporters of Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle and Chelsea will cheer on Manchester City in the FA Cup final (James Gill-Dinehouse/Getty Images)

Tottenham are fifth in the penultimate game week and are expected to end the season in this position as Burnley and Sheffield United are still in contention. As for the FA Cup, the final will be played between Manchester City and Manchester United for the second consecutive year.

If Manchester City wins, the sixth-placed team in the Premier League will qualify for the Europa League. If United win the FA Cup, they will compete in next season’s Europa League.

How about the Alliance League?

Only one English team competes in the Division League each season.

The rules stipulate that the winner of the Carabao Cup gets a place in the divisional league. However, every season since the start of Europe’s third-tier club competition in 2021, that spot has been pushed back to the Premier League, as the Carabao Cup winners finish in the top six, thereby claiming a spot in the Europa League or Champions League. Their league is over.

Liverpool won this season’s Carabao Cup final in February (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

As such, this season’s FA Cup final presents a potentially interesting twist. If City win on May 25, the seventh-placed team in the Premier League will clinch a spot in La Liga.

But if United win and drop out of the top six, the sixth-placed team will gain a spot.If Manchester United win the FA Cup and After finishing in the top six, the team will move into seventh place again.

game status

Despite their poor form, Tottenham still have hope of finishing fifth. Six more points would guarantee City a Europa League spot if they win the FA Cup, while four points would be enough.

Ange Postkoglu’s side also have 19th-placed Burnley and relegated Sheffield United in the competition, with Manchester City traveling to north London.

Four wins in Newcastle’s last five games have moved them back into contention for a Europa League spot, while three wins in their last three games will ensure they finish sixth in the worst-case scenario. They are two points behind Chelsea and Manchester United, putting them in danger of finishing sixth before cheering on Pep Guardiola’s side in the FA Cup final.

Newcastle force themselves back into European qualification (Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images)

As for the aforementioned two teams below Newcastle, it’s up to the teams above to drop points in the final eight days of the season and ensure they can capitalize. Despite being tied on 54 points, Chelsea’s goal difference gives them an advantage over United, whose fierce record is perhaps best reflected in their -3 goal difference.

Erik ten Hag’s side face the very real possibility of missing out on European football entirely next season. They need to get in better shape and overcome the mistakes of the aforementioned teams to make it to the Euroleague or the Conference League.



Manchester United and the double edge of League One qualification

Remaining schedule

Wednesday’s game at Old Trafford could prove crucial in this European battle…

Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12

Tuesday, May 14 and Wednesday, May 15

  • Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City
  • Brighton vs Chelsea (Wednesday)
  • Manchester United vs Newcastle (Wednesday)

Sunday, May 19

  • Brentford vs Newcastle
  • Brighton vs Manchester United
  • Chelsea vs Bournemouth
  • Sheffield United vs Tottenham Hotspur


In their model of the final standings of the Premier League table, Opta actually doesn’t think much will change between now and next weekend.

Opta expected completion status

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(Top photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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