Arsenal could finish fourth in the Premier League and still not qualify for the Champions League, thanks to UEFA’s limit on the number of clubs from one country qualifying.
As you’re probably aware, the top four Premier League teams each year qualify for the Champions League. There’s also a spot allocated to the winner of the Champions League and the winner of the Europa League.
However, UEFA only allow a maximum of five English teams to qualify for the competition each year. That means if an English club won the Europa League and finished outside the top four, and another English club won the Champions League and finished outside the top four, the team in fourth would lose their spot.
That might sound like a lot of permutations, but it’s looking more and more likely it could actually happen.
Chelsea look set to finish outside the top four as it stands, but they’re going strong in the Europa League, and are currently favourites to win it. Meanwhile, Manchester United will be in sixth position if the Blues win their game in hand, and they’ve just qualified for the CL quarter-finals.
Tottenham Hotspur are also still in the Champions League, and they could well drop out of the top four. No one really believes they can go on to win the competition though, so that’s less of a worry.
Most likely, neither United nor Spurs will win the Champions League, and this rule will never be an issue. To make sure we’re not biting our nails on June 1st though, Arsenal need to complete their comeback against Rennes and aim to move up into third as well, just to be safe.