The English national teams have a chance to qualify for seven European tournaments, although that number may have climbed to nine depending on the number of teams in each competition.
The Champions League group phase is reserved for the top 4 teams in the Premier League. The FA Cup winners and fifth-place finishers qualify for the group stage of the Europa League. There will be Europa Conference League playoffs for the Carabao Cup winners.
If Liverpool or Chelsea win this season’s FA Cup, their Europa League earning position will be given to the next best Premier League scorer who does not qualify for Europe, despite the fact that both of those teams are expected to finish fourth.
As a result of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup victory and expected fourth-place finish in the Premier League, their Europa Conference League qualifying berth will be awarded to the next highest-placed Premier League finisher without a European football contract.
In other words, the sixth and seventh-place teams in the Premier League are in the mix for next season’s Europa League and/or Conference League.
Teams that are already qualified
Liverpool and Manchester City have a comfortable lead at the top of the Premier League, so they don’t have to worry about qualifying for the Champions League while the title race for the EPL results continues.
Tottenham, Arsenal, and Chelsea are in the hunt for the final two top-four berths with four games remaining. There will be at the very least a top-six finish for Arsenal, and Chelsea, who missed out on European contention last season.
Even while Spurs haven’t mathematically secured a Europa League spot, they have a nine-point lead over West Ham, who only have 3 more games remaining. Antonio Conte’s team also has a far better goal difference than West Ham United.
Man Utd and West Ham are battling it out for the final Europa League slot, while Wolves are aiming to finish seventh and earn a spot in the Europa Conference League.
Is Liverpool set to win the Champions League?
If Liverpool wins the Champions League, they will indeed be ineligible for the tournament’s group stages the following season unless they qualify first. This holds true regardless of where they place in the Premier League standings.
It seems unlikely that a new Champions League slot will be created for an EPL team if they qualify in two different ways: by winning the competition and finishing in the top four.
By winning the Europa League, West Ham would have been able to join a maximum of five Premier League teams in the next season of the Champions League. They would have qualified for the group phase if they had won that competition.
Leicester would have advanced to next season’s Europa League automatically if they had clinched the Europa Conference League. Including West Ham and Leicester, nine English teams will compete in Europe next season if they win their respective championships and finish outside the top seven in the Premier League.
Currently, things stand
There’s a significant probability that an English team will win the Champions League final, although neither Liverpool or Manchester City would miss out on European qualification if they win.
If West Ham win the Europa League semi-finals, they’ll be eligible for a second Champions League spot. They would lose their Europa Conference League position if they finished eighth.
Leicester, who are now 10 points behind seventh-place but with two games in hand, have a chance to return to European competition next year provided they make it through their semi-final and capture the Europa Conference League title.
Even though they are only three points back of West Ham and five points behind Manchester United, with a game in hand, eighth-place Wolves would have been the top Premier League team with the highest-finishing track to lose out on European participation.