How can fifth place in Premier League earn UEFA Champions League spot?

Two leagues in Europe this season will be rewarded with an extra place in the revamped 2024/25 UEFA Champions League (UCL) based on the record of their clubs in all of UEFA’s competitions this campaign. 

That means in the case of the Premier League, as well as the top four-placed teams, the club finishing fifth could go straight into the UEFA Champions League.

That is great news for the likes of Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, who seem at present to be battling for one spot, fourth.

How does it work? 

UEFA calculates which two leagues will be rewarded by adding up coefficient points based on the performances of clubs from each league across the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League.

Every win, no matter the competition, earns each league two points, while a draw gets one point, and there are no points for defeat.

The further that teams progress in their competitions, additional bonus points are awarded, which are weighted according to the competition.

Champions League bonus points 
Group stage – four 
Round of 16 – five 
Quarter-final, semi-final, final – one 

Europa League bonus points 
Group winners – four 
Group runners-up – two 
Round of 16, quarter-final, semi-final, final – one 

Europa Conference League bonus points 
Group winners – two 
Group runners-up – one 
Semi-final, final – one 

The points of all participating clubs are totalled and then divided by the number of clubs who started the season in UEFA competitions, to calculate the coefficient average. 

As the UEFA competitions are in the last 16 here is the coefficients rank as of 09:00 GMT 13 March.

UEFA coefficient rankings* (teams remaining)
1. Italy, 16.571 (R16 5)
2. Germany, 15.500 (QF 1 R16 3)
3. England, 15.000 (QF 2 R16 4)
4. France, 14.416 (QF 1 R16 2)
5. Spain, 13.812 (QF 2 R16 2)
*Source: ESPN; as of 09:00 GMT 13 March

Which league’s teams remain in the competitions? 

Arsenal progressed to the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday by beating Porto in a penalty shootout. They join Manchester City, who eased past Copenhagen last week, in the last eight.

All four Premier League teams in the Europa League and Europa Conference League (Liverpool, West Ham United, Brighton & Hove Albion and Aston Villa) are in the last 16, although only Liverpool take a lead into their second leg.  

Elsewhere, Italy have five teams in all three competitions, after Napoli were knocked out of the UCL by Barcelona on Tuesday, while Germany have four, after RB Leipzig were beaten by Real Madrid.

France have three, with Paris Saint-Germain already in the UCL last eight.

This week’s European fixtures will therefore prove crucial.

PL club fixtures in UEFA competitions

UEFA Europa League, R16 second leg
Thursday 14 March
Brighton (0) v Roma (4)
Liverpool (5) v Sparta Prague (1)
West Ham (0) v Freiburg (1)

UEFA Europa Conference League, R16 second leg
Thursday 14 March
Aston Villa (0) v Ajax (0)

Read: UEFA qualification explained

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