Europa League and Europa Conference League permutations for Arsenal after Tottenham slip up

The finish line for the 2020/21 Premier League season is upon us.

Just one more fixture remains before the chequered flag is waved and the campaign can be rubber-stamped into the history books.

Although Manchester City have already scooped the Premier League title and Fulham, Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion’s relegations to the Championship have been confirmed, there are still European spots up for grabs.

The race for the top-four, UEFA Europa League and Europa Conference League places has gone down to the wire, with several clubs still in with a chance of getting their passports ready for next season.

Ahead of the final day, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool hold the top-four spots, with Leicester City, West Ham United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Arsenal all in with a chance of either breaking into the top-four or securing a Europa League or Europa Conference League berth.

But who can qualify for Europe next season?

Here, has taken a close look at who can qualify for the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League.

Who will qualify for the 2021/22 Champions League?

Just as in previous years, the clubs that finish inside the top four will qualify for next season’s Champions League, as well as the winners of this season’s tournament and the Europa League.

With Manchester City and Chelsea poised to go head-to-head in this season’s Champions League final later this month and Manchester United facing Villarreal in the Europa League final, and all three clubs poised to finish in the top-four, could it mean that clubs that finish outside of the top four could gain entry into the Champions League for next season?

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The answer to that question is no.

Chelsea will face Man City in an all-English Champions League final. (Image: Valentin Flauraud - UEFA)
Chelsea will face Man City in an all-English Champions League final. (Image: Valentin Flauraud – UEFA)

A maximum of five English clubs can participate in the competition, but England will not be awarded an extra place if, for instance, Chelsea win the Champions League and finish in the top four.

Should Chelsea win the Champions League and finish outside of the top four they would gain entry to make up the five clubs involved.

City and United are already guaranteed top-four finishes, whilst Chelsea remain a pretty good bet to join them and just need to match what Liverpool and Leicester do on the final day.

The battle for fourth place will go down to the wire, with Liverpool and Leicester in contention.

Who will qualify for the 2021/22 Europa League?

This is where a big change has come into play. In previous years, three Europa League spots have always been up for grabs, but the introduction of the Europa Conference League (more information on that to come) makes the situation slightly more different.

The club that finishes fifth in the Premier League table will qualify for the Europa League alongside the winners of the FA Cup, which are Leicester.

In the event of the Foxes finishing in the top five of the Premier League, only the sixth-placed team will qualify for the Europa League.

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2 trophy
NYON, SWITZERLAND – DECEMBER 14: A view of the UEFA Europa League trophy during the UEFA Europa League 2020/21 Round of 32 draw at the UEFA Headquarters, the House of European Football, on December 14, 2020, in Nyon, Switzerland (Photo by Harold Cunningham – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

As things stand, West Ham are in pole position to claim sixth spot following their 3-1 win at West Brom which has seen them leapfrog Tottenham in the table after Ryan Mason’s side were beaten at home by Aston Villa.

Arsenal could take advantage of Tottenham’s slip-up and finish above their north London rivals by beating Brighton and hoping Spurs lose at Leicester.

That will be enough to finish in the top seven as long as Everton fail to beat Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

However, because their maximum points total is 61 they can’t catch West Ham who are on 62 points so there will be no Europa League football for the Gunners next season.

However, if the Hammers lose to Southampton at home, that would open the door for Spurs and Everton.

Who will qualify for the 2021/22 Europa Conference League?

This is where it starts to get slightly complicated.

The Europa Conference League is UEFA’s new third-ranked European tournament, which is a step down from the Europa League proper.

The club that finishes seventh in the Premier League will go into the final round of qualifiers for next season’s inaugural Europa Conference League.

Current Premier League top nine:

1st: Man City – 83pts

2nd: Man Utd – 71pts

3rd: Chelsea – 67pts

4th: Liverpool – 66pts

5th: Leicester – 66pts

6th: West Ham – 62pts

7th: Tottenham – 59pts

8th: Everton – 59 pts

9th: Arsenal – 58pts

Source by Football London

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