Manchester United, Tottenham And Arsenal Fans Take Note - Finishing In The Top 4 May Not Be Enough For Champions League Qualification
The race for the top four in the Premier League looks likely to go down to the wire with four teams fighting it out for the final two places amongst the elite of the Premier League.
Traditionally, the top four finishers in the division gain entry into the Champions League the following season which would normally be enough for Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United to consider their season a success, but this year that may not be the case.
With English teams dominating the European competitions at the moment in both the Champions League and the Europa League there is a scenario which would see the 4th place finishers miss out on joining the top table of European football.
Liverpool and Man City can rest easy knowing that their places in the top two are all but confirmed given their gap at the top of the table but the remaining teams in the so-called big six may have to be a touch careful.
The team in 4th could lose their Champions League spot and although it is a remote outcome at this stage, it is not completely outside of the realms of possibilities. The scenario is a complicated one but we will try to explain it the best we can...
Should Chelsea win the Europa League and finish 6th they will be assured of Champions League football but so would Spurs or Man United if they win the Champions League and happen to finish in 5th place in the Premier League. That would leave Arsenal in 4th place and missing out on a return to the premier club competition in world football.
The Gunners could also take the Chelsea position in the scenario by winning the Europa League and one of the English teams winning the Champions League and also finishing outside of the top four.
It would be a huge blow to a team like Arsenal or Manchester United should they miss out due to the success of English teams in Europe at the moment but it is certainly a story worth tracking.
The bottom line is that only five teams from one country can qualify for the Champions League at the end of the campaign and there is a real chance than six could technically meet the usual standard to gain entry.
In truth, England could be a victim of its own success if a team that finishes 4th does miss out on a place in the Champions League but either way, it is going to be an interesting story-line to follow over the next few weeks.