Premier League’s hopes of extra Champions League spot hit

Premier League’s hopes of extra Champions League spot hit
Bayern Munich beat Arsenal 3-2 on aggregate to reach the Champions League semi-finals

England’s hopes of securing a fifth Champions League spot have taken a big hit over the past two nights.

With Italy clear at the top of Uefa’s coefficient rankings, the second of the two available spots has turned into a battle between Germany and England.

Before this week, Germany had a narrow lead even though they only had three teams left in the quarter-finals of the three European club competitions, compared with England’s five.

That position has strengthened further with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich both reaching the last four.

It meant the pair each collected three coefficient points this week – two each for the win and a bonus point for getting through. Those points are divided by seven – the number of German teams who started out in Europe this season – which takes them to 17.642.

While Manchester City’s defeat by Real Madrid ends their Champions League hopes, as penalties do not count in coefficient terms, the game ended in a draw, meaning England have amassed only one point so far this week, which has to be divided by eight. It leaves England on 16.875.

How the co-efficient rankings stand at the moment

Country Co-efficient points Clubs left in Europe
Italy 18.428 Atalanta, AC Milan, Roma, Fiorentina
Germany 17.642 Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund
England 16.875 Liverpool, West Ham, Aston Villa
Spain 15.312 Real Madrid
France 15.250 PSG, Marseille, Lille

It puts more pressure on West Ham in particular to overturn their two-goal deficit against Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League, with the hope that Liverpool can somehow overhaul Atalanta’s three-goal first-leg lead in Italy and Aston Villa get through against Lille in the Europa Conference League.

How are the extra places decided?

Two extra places will go to the best performing leagues in Europe this season.

This means the team who finishes fifth in the Premier League this season could automatically qualify for the Champions League.

Uefa’s association coefficient rankings are based on the results of all European clubs across the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League.

Every win by a club from a nation is worth two points and a draw one.

Bonus points are then accrued by progressing through various stages of each competition.

All points earned by clubs from each country are added up before being divided by the number of teams from that nation in Europe – eight in the Premier League’s case.

In six of the past seven seasons, England would have qualified for that extra ‘most successful’ spot but this season’s group-stage exits of Newcastle and Manchester United has left the Premier League playing catch-up to Germany and Italy all season.

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