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HomeChampions LeaguePremier League race for Europe assessed ahead of decisive final fortnight

Premier League race for Europe assessed ahead of decisive final fortnight

The Premier League top four race stood still over the weekend, but the battle for European qualification is heating up as we enter the final two weeks of the season. 

Aston Villa lost to Brighton on Sunday to give Spurs the opportunity to close the gap on fourth place, but they wasted it spectacularly as Liverpool beat them 4-2 at Anfield.

It means Tottenham remain seven points adrift in fifth place with a game in hand. There is no room for error for Ange Postecoglou’s men, who need to win their next three games and hope Villa drop points in their final two matches to reach the Uefa Champions League.

 

Given the Lilywhites are on their worst losing run for 20 years, that seems very unlikely. One more win and Unai Emery will take the Birmingham outfit to Europe’s premier competition for the first time in over forty years.

There is also the possibility that Spurs don’t even consolidate fifth place. They have a four-point cushion at the moment, but the two teams behind them are in much better form and closing the gap with every passing week.

Newcastle United have won their last five on the bounce and haven’t lost in the Premier League since mid-March. Chelsea are looking better and unbeaten in their last three, although making up the six-point difference may be too much of an ask.

 

Having been in the top six for much of the season, Manchester United now find themselves eighth in the table following one win in their last eight outings. They have Arsenal this weekend followed by a crucial encounter with the Magpies next week. Lose both of them and they will almost certainly finish outside the European spots.

Just behind them, West Ham have an outside chance of finishing inside the top seven, but that is a very remote possibility indeed – not least because they have Manchester City on the final day.

The Red Devils could also qualify for Europe via the FA Cup. If they beat Man City in the final they will be in next season’s Europa League no matter where they end up in the league standings, while the team in sixth position goes to the Europa Conference League.

However, if they don’t win the cup, that Europa League place goes to the sixth-best team in the top flight. Seventh place would then qualify for the Europa Conference League.

With two weeks left in the Premier League season, there’s everything to play for.

Premier League race for Europe as it stands:

  1. Arsenal – 83 points [UCL]
  2. Man City – 82 [UCL]
  3. Liverpool – 78 [UCL]
  4. Aston Villa – 67 [UCL]
  5. Tottenham – 60 [UEL]
  6. Newcastle – 56 [UEL]
  7. Chelsea – 54 [UECL*]
  8. Man Utd – 54
  9. West Ham – 49

*If Man Utd don’t win the FA Cup.

Premier League Awards – ‘Spoiled brat’ Haaland, exceptional Elliott

Read – Five things we learned from the Premier League this week

See Also – Premier League team of the week for matchday 36

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