The Premier League title race seems sewn up and the battle to beat the drop looks set to be over soon.
Manchester City continue to process towards the title in an orderly fashion despite recent setbacks, while West Bromwich Albion will be joining Sheffield United in the Championship next season.
But things are far less clear regarding the race for Europe, which is fast approaching an exciting climax.
Spots in the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and new Europa Conference League are still up for grabs, with every team in the top half still in the running.
There are also three English teams in European finals this season, so could that also affect permutations?
Here’s all you need to know ahead of the run-in.
The UEFA Champions League
All of the teams who finish inside the top four places in the Premier League will qualify for the Champions League.
If a team finishes outside of the top four and wins a European trophy (such as Manchester United in 2017), they will also qualify for the UCL next season.
However, there are a maximum of five English teams allowed in Europe’s elite competition.
With Manchester City and Chelsea both firmly inside the top four at present, the winner of their Champions League final is more than likely to have already qualified beforehand through their top-flight tribulations.
The UEFA Europa League
The team who occupies fifth place come teatime on Sunday 23 May will qualify for the Europa League.
The second spot is awarded to the FA Cup winners or sixth place if the Wembley victors – either Chelsea or Leicester City – finish inside the top five league positions.
However, there could only be one team from England in next season’s Europa League if Chelsea finish fifth or sixth and win the Champions League.
In this scenario, the Blues would compete in the Champions League next term and no other team would take their Europa League spot.
Only 32 teams will compete at the group stage for the 2021/22 iteration, shrinking the usual amount of clubs from 48.
The UEFA Europa Conference League
UEFA’s brand new competition, the Europa Conference League, is ranked below the Europa League as a third-rate tournament.
Sixth or seventh place in the Premier League – depending on how FA Cup finalists finish in the table – will have the opportunity to feature in the final round of qualifiers this summer.
The sole spot is set aside for the Carabao Cup winners, but will now be shifted to a league finish due to Manchester City’s Champions League qualification.
To make things more complicated, there wouldn’t be an English team in the tournament for its maiden run if Chelsea finish in the Conference position and win the Champions League.
What does each Premier League team need to do to qualify?
Seven English teams should qualify for European competition next season, and it could be eight if the Blues win the UCL and incredibly finish eighth or below.
Manchester City and Manchester United are guaranteed Champions League football next season, while third-placed Chelsea need four points from their final three games to achieve the same.
United would have also had the opportunity through their upcoming UEL final against Spanish side Villarreal later this month.
Leicester seem to be slipping, needing seven points to ensure a first top-four finish since their famous title win in 2016.
If they drop out of the top four, as they did last season, they could still compete in the Europa League with a fifth-place finish or FA Cup triumph.
This Premier League campaign’s dark horses, West Ham, need at least two wins from their final trio of matches if they are to catch the Foxes’ tails.
Sixth-placed Liverpool have a favourable run of remaining top-flight fixtures, but they need to make up six points on Leicester, otherwise the Europa League or Conference looms.
Tottenham Hotspur are currently seventh, and their loss at Leeds on Saturday has stacked the odds even higher against them. But if they were to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa, it would set up a mouth-watering clash with Leicester City on the final day.
Everton are also outsiders, one point and place behind Spurs, but have a game in hand, so will fancy their chances of at least a Europa Conference debut.
Arsenal, like 10th-placed Leeds, are mathematically unable to feature in the 2021/22 Champions League, and would both need a frankly ridiculous number of results to go their way to qualify for the Europa League or even Conference.
One thing is guaranteed, though – it wil be entertaining to observe the race.
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