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EPL final day: Who will qualify for Europe?

Premier League final day permutations: Who will qualify for Europe next season?

May 21, 2021 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The race to qualify for Europe will be decided on the final day with up to eight teams in contention for a spot.

Premier League fans are set for a thrilling end to the 2020/2021 season this weekend with much to be decided as far as the top half of the table is concerned. Manchester City have already been confirmed as runaway winners for the third time in five years with rivals Manchester United missing out on winning the title for the eighth season in a row and settling for a runners-up place.

At the base of the chart, Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United have already packed their bags to feature in next season's Championship following their relegation. However, there is a lot more at stake with the premiership's candidates for Europe next season yet to be fully known. Here is all you need to know with regards to the chances of qualification by the clubs identified to be in contention:

Race for a Champions League place

Contenders: Chelsea, Liverpool and Leicester City

The last round of matches gave a different dimension to the state of affairs with the pool at the top experiencing a few alterations. A miraculous late goal by Alisson Becker against West Brom salvaged Liverpool's Champions League aspiration and the Reds subsequently backed their charge with an emphatic 3-1 win over Burnley to climb into fourth place on the league table. The leap by Jurgen Klopp's men came at a cost and it was Leicester City who were made to pay the full price following their defeat to Chelsea early on.

The Blues secured a 2-1 win over the Foxes to avenge their FA Cup final defeat, relegating Brendan Rodgers' men who - despite sitting level on 66 points with the Merseysiders - occupy fifth position as a result of the latter's superior goal difference. Chelsea, with 67 points and a +23 goal difference from 37 outings, occupy third position and will travel to Aston Villa for their final league game on Sunday after. The Blues may be comfortably positioned considering the fact that there is nothing at stake for the Villians but a defeat could see their dreams of securing a Champions League place being deferred.

Should Leicester defeat Tottenham Hotspur in their respective fixture, they could demote Thomas Tuchel's side to the fifth position provided Liverpool also defeat Crystal Palace. In a scenario where the Reds draw or lose against the Eagles, they could be usurped by Leicester once more should the latter put Spurs to the sword. But the odds of a defeat for the former champions are pretty marginal considering the fact that they have not lost against Palace in the past six years.

A win for Liverpool will see them edge the FA Cup holders with their superior goal difference even if they also beat Ryan Mason's men. All in all, safe passage into next season's Champions League is guaranteed for both Chelsea and Liverpool should they win their respective games against Aston Villa and Crystal Palace. A draw or defeat to either of the two side could pave the way for Leicester to capitalize provided they completely thrash Tottenham Hotspur.

Race for a Europa League place

Contenders: West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Everton*

In a worst-case scenario where Leicester City fails to gain a seat at the high table in the top-four race, they have a buffer in the Europa Leagua as they currently occupy fifth position. Their success in the FA Cup als guarantees them passage into the European Cup competition, meaning that only sixth place is now up for grabs.

Following West Ham's 3-1 victory over West Brom in the course of the week, they now remain in the driving seat and could outrightly own the slot should they overcome Southampton in their final league game. David Moyes' men, have three points more than seventh-placed Tottenham Hotspur (59 points) and eighth-placed Everton (also on 59 points).

In a case where their hopes of triumph are dashed by the Saints, Spurs coud be on the one to benefit the most should they defeat Leicester City as they hold a own a bigger goal difference (+21) as against Everton's (+4). While it is highly unlikely for the latter to make a claim for the spot, it is mathematically possible for them to attempt it.

Race for a Europa Conference League place

Contenders: Everton, Arsenal, Leeds United

Whichever team that finishes in the seventh position on the Premier League table will be inducted into UEFA's all-new Europa Conference League. As things stand, Tottenham Hotspur are well positioned to snatch the slot provided West Ham do not slip-up against Southampton.

Everton (59 points +4 goals), Arsenal (58 points +14 goals) and Leeds United (56 points +6 goals) have an outsider chance to pounce on the offering should Spurs fall short against Leicester on Sunday.

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