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Premier League: The race for Europe – As things stand

We’ve reached the final week of the Premier League season and there’s plenty to play for at the top end of the division.

The title race will go down to the final day for the ninth time in the Premier League era, while several clubs are battling it out for a place in European football.

Ahead of the final games, we’ve looked at how the race for Europe stands.

Champions League

Qualified: Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool

In contention: Aston Villa, Tottenham

Arsenal and Manchester City will compete for the Premier League title on the final day of the season and the championship contenders are already confirmed of places in next season’s Champions League group stage as a result.

Liverpool are also assured entrants after a one-season absence and Jurgen Klopp’s side can finish no higher or lower than third, with two games to play.

Aston Villa will confirm entry to the Champions League for the first time with a win against Liverpool on Monday night. The Villans have a four-point cushion over Tottenham, ahead of clashes with Liverpool (H) and Crystal Palace (A) to conclude the campaign. Villa won the European Cup in 1982 but have not featured in Europe’s top competition since the defence of that crown a season later.

Three more points and a top-four finish, which would be the club’s highest in the Premier League since 1995/96, will secure participation for the first time in the Champions League era.

Tottenham must beat Manchester City (H) and Sheffield United (A) to have any chance of overhauling Villa.

Europa League

Qualified: None

In contention: Aston Villa, Tottenham, Newcastle, Chelsea, Manchester United

The Europa League places are awarded to the fifth-placed team in the Premier League and FA Cup winners, provided the latter have not qualified for the Champions League.

Tottenham are fifth in the Premier League table and currently occupy a place in next season’s Europa League group stage. The North Londoners will no longer be able to finish above fifth if Aston Villa win against Liverpool on Monday night.

Newcastle can still overhaul Spurs and climb into the top five, though would require Ange Postecoglou’s side to lose both games and they beat Manchester United (A) and Brentford (H).

Sixth spot, currently held by Newcastle, will earn a place in Europe for next season after Liverpool, who are guaranteed Champions League football, won the Carabao Cup.

Which competition the place is allocated to depends on the outcome of the FA Cup final.

If Manchester City beat Manchester United, sixth place will be Europa League football. If Manchester United are victorious and don’t finish inside the European places, sixth place will instead be Europa Conference League football.

Still with us?

Europa Conference League

Qualified: None

In contention: Tottenham, Newcastle, Chelsea, Manchester United

The Carabao Cup winners earn a place in the Europa Conference League, though Liverpool’s top-four finish means this position will go to the highest-placed Premier League team not in Europe.

Tottenham currently occupy fifth place in the Premier League and only consecutive defeats in their final two games, alongside two wins for Newcastle and FA Cup success for Manchester United, could result in them dropping into the Conference League.

As things stand, sixth-placed Newcastle will be in the Conference League. However, a win for Manchester City in the FA Cup final would mean seventh place takes the Conference League position and sixth is upgraded to the Europa League.

Chelsea sit seventh at present, level on points with Newcastle but with a much inferior goal difference (-10), and two points ahead of Manchester United. The West Londoners face Brighton (A) and Bournemouth (H) in their final two fixtures of the campaign.

Manchester United have a double chance of European football. The Red Devils will earn a place in the Europa League with a win in the FA Cup final, while defeat will see seventh earn a place in continental competition. Erik ten Hag’s team have a two-point gap to Newcastle and Chelsea to overhaul, ahead of fixtures with the former (H) and Brighton (A).

Read – The longest ever unbeaten runs from Premier League players

See more – Premier League weekend: Five things we learned

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