What Happens to Europa League Qualification After City's Overturned Ban?

Who can get Europa League football?

The situation regarding who qualifies for the Champions League and Europa League in the Premier League is a complex one.

Even at this stage of the season with very few games remaining, several clubs in the top half of the table are still not sure where their destination will be. The qualification for such places has not changed but with Manchester City finishing in second place and having already won the League Cup the qualification positions have dropped down to sixth and seventh.

Furthermore, if Manchester United and Wolves miss out on a top four finish in the league, they can still bag themselves a place in the Champions League if one of them wins the Europa League. Similarly, if Chelsea win the Champions League and finish outside the top four, they will qualify for Europe's elite competition - they must overturn a 3-0 home deficit to Bayern Munich first.

At this late stage, a lot of factors still seem to be up in the air which is why a placing as low as eighth could result in Europa League qualification. Let's analyse the situation and see who gets what and how.

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Manchester United Europa League

United have been in terrific form in 2020 and remain the most in-form side other than Bayern Munich, with an unbeaten streak that has now extended 19 games following their win over Crystal Palace.

Now, with Bruno Fernandes changing everything at the club, it does seem as if United will, at the very least, find themselves in the Europa League once more. However, as they are level on points with Leicester City and just one behind Chelsea, no doubt a Champions League result is the aim.

As mentioned, fifth will get Europa League and so will the FA Cup winner and the Red Devils are on course to do both of them right now, but if they win their next two league games, a return to the elite will follow.


Wolves were probably displeased to hear of City's ban being overturned because it signified that the fifth place they were eyeing up will be a Europa League spot.

Last season, Nuno Espirito Santo's side became the first newly-promoted side since Ipswich in the 2000/01 season to qualify for Europe. However, unlike Ipswich, Wolves have continued to strive for Europe and not get relegated like the Blues did the following season.

Because of City's League Cup win back in March, the European place that would have been claimed by the winner of the competition will then be given through the league so sixth place in the Premier League will be guaranteed a place in the Europa League next season.

A second consecutive season in Europe seems likely as a sixth-place finished is guaranteed if they can better Sheffield United's, Arsenal's and Spurs' results over the next two games.

Champions League is near impossible via the league with United and Leicester five clear with six points remaining, and as those two meet each other and could well draw. If Wolves want Champions League football, winning the Europa League is their best chance.

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Spurs Europa League

Despite spending the vast majority of the season in mid-table, Spurs are now in with a shout to land a Europa League spot as they are one point behind Wolves in seventh.

If Mourinho's side finish outside the top six, they will have to hope that the teams that finish in fifth and sixth fail to win one of UEFA's competitions next month and hope that Arsenal, if they finish below Spurs, fail to win the FA Cup.

Simply put, Spurs must keep up their fight for sixth, count their losses from a dreadful season and build on this from next year. They could still finish ahead of Wolves in fifth, which is likely considering Santo's men play Chelsea on the final day and may well drop points as the Blues look to secure third.

Sheffield United Europa League

Chris Wilder's Sheffield United have been the surprise package of the season and have been a mainstay in the top half this year and whilst a Champions League place is off the cards, a Europa League battle is still alive.

After their defeat to Leicester, the Blades have dropped down to eighth and they must now hope Spurs and Wolves drop points. Wilder's men are just a point behind Spurs and two from Wolves and considering they must face Leicester and Chelsea, respectively, their hopes are not done just yet.

Sheffield's only hopes now are for Arsenal to not win the FA Cup and for them to finish seventh, above the Gunners. Which, bearing in mind Arsenal face City in the semi-finals, is quite doable.

Arsenal Europa League

Mikel Arteta has done a good job of keeping afloat the sinking ship that was Arsenal at the time of Unai Emery's sacking.

However, European qualification for the Gunners through the league seems unlikely. Ahead of their FA Cup clash, the club are down in ninth on 53 points and they must close a three-point gap on Spurs and a four-point gap on Wolves to have any chance to qualify on this route.

Simply put, Arsenal were in contention for Europa League football, but their defeat in the north London derby all but destroyed this, despite beating Liverpool a week later.

Arteta's men can still qualify via an FA Cup triumph, but even here they must beat holders City in the final and then either Chelsea or United in the final.

In truth, it looks like a season without European football for Arsenal for what will be the first time they have done so since in Premier League history.

By Rob Spereall

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