The race for European football in the Premier League is heating up as the season draws to a close. Manchester City and Arsenal have secured spots in the Champions League, with Newcastle and Manchester United close to joining them. Liverpool, however, could still sneak into the top four, but it would require an improbable scenario.
Currently sitting in fifth place, Liverpool would need to win all their remaining games and hope that either Newcastle fails to pick up six points in their remaining five fixtures or Manchester United can't get eight more points from their six remaining games. It's a tall order, but manager Jurgen Klopp believes his side can still make it happen. "It's a big ask for Liverpool to reach the top four but it will be Liverpool to do it, if any side not currently there is going to challenge," former Newcastle and Tottenham winger Chris Waddle told BBC Radio 5 Live.
Manchester United, on the other hand, are confident they will finish in the top four. Manager Erik ten Hag said they need to show passion and not worry about the table. "We are totally in control [in the race for the top four], it's all about us and it's in our hands," he said. The team that finishes fifth will be guaranteed a place in the Europa League, which Liverpool currently occupies. The surprise package of the Premier League this season, Brighton, are also very much in the mix.
Sixth place should be enough to secure a Europa League berth, as the all-Manchester FA Cup final means an additional place in the competition will be granted based on league position. Tottenham, Aston Villa, and Brighton are all in contention for this spot, with Brentford also in the mix.
The Europa Conference League is also up for grabs. Winning the Carabao Cup means Manchester United will claim this spot, unless they finish in the top six, in which case it will be awarded to the team that finishes seventh. Fulham still have a slim chance of playing in Europe, as they are currently 10th, nine points off seventh with five games to go.
Overall, the top seven teams in the league will secure some form of European football, which adds extra excitement and pressure to the final weeks of the season. Fans of Liverpool, Newcastle, and Manchester United will be watching the results of each game with bated breath, hoping their team can secure a spot in the Champions League or Europa League. Meanwhile, Brighton, Tottenham, Aston Villa, and Brentford will be battling it out for the remaining Europa League spots.
It's not just the teams themselves that are affected by the race for European football. There are financial implications as well, with clubs receiving substantial sums of money for qualifying for European competitions. This money can be used to strengthen the squad, which in turn can lead to further success on the field.
The Premier League has long been one of the most competitive and exciting football leagues in the world, and the race for European football adds an extra layer of drama to an already thrilling season. As the final weeks of the season approach, it remains to be seen which teams will come out on top and secure their place in the Champions League, Europa League, or Europa Conference League. One thing is for sure, however – the race for European football in the Premier League is far from over.