Premier League: How Can Chelsea Qualify For Europa League Next Season?

Premier League: How Can Chelsea Qualify For Europa League Next Season?

As the Premier League is nearing the business end, Chelsea are making their progressive moves very swiftly towards qualification for the Europa League next season. Their resounding 5-0 victory against West Ham United, following a battle with Spurs at home last week, has revived their chances of qualifying for Europe.

With three consecutive victories at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League 2023-24 season, the Blues are back in the hunt for the honorary sixth spot. A fortnight ago, Mauricio Pochettino’s side succumbed to a 0-5 rout at the hands of the league leaders, Arsenal, in an away fixture. Since then, they have responded to that terrible loss in great fashion by producing a stupendous second-half comeback against Aston Villa, almost clinching a late winner in that game.

Then they went on to win an all-important North London Derby against arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur by a 0-2 margin and thumped West Ham United 5-0 at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have made it to three consecutive home victories with a clean sheet in the Premier League. After Sunday’s big win at home, the London-based outfit is back in contention to seal a spot in the Europa League, despite it still looking like a long shot given the current scenario.

A Look at Premier League Standings

Chelsea players celebrate a goal (Credit: Getty)

It’s a three-way title race in the Premier League, with Arsenal, Manchester City, and Liverpool wrestling for the top honors. These three sides have already secured their spots in the Champions League with their positions firmly established. Aston Villa (4th) and Spurs (5th) are locked in a battle for the fourth spot to join the top three teams in Europe.

Newcastle United currently occupies the sixth position in the points table, which Chelsea, in seventh place, has its eyes on. They both have played 35 games so far, with only two points separating them in the league. Manchester United, also in the fray, can secure the sixth spot as they trail Newcastle by just two points, with a game in hand. 

With only three games remaining, Chelsea must win all of them and hope for Newcastle and Manchester United to drop points to secure a Europa League spot. The Blues moved ahead of the Red Devils after two consecutive victories at home.

A victory for United at Crystal Palace could send Chelsea back to square one. However, Erik ten Hag’s side has been in poor form recently, with just one victory in their last six games, opening the door for both Newcastle and Chelsea to vie for the Europa League spot.

How Can Chelsea Qualify for the Europa League?

The top four teams of the Premier League secure direct qualification for the UEFA Champions League every season. The team that finishes fifth in the league directly qualifies for the Europa League. As things stand, Arsenal, Manchester City, and Liverpool have already booked spots for themselves in the UCL next season as they are the top three teams in the Premier League, solidifying their ranks. Aston Villa has come out of the syllabus to sit in the fourth spot and is currently battling with fifth-placed Spurs, who have suffered four consecutive defeats. It means these two teams are likely to hold the fourth and fifth positions even after the completion of the Premier League season.

Now, the only remaining spot in the points table which can offer Europa League qualification is the sixth position, currently held by Newcastle United. However, it depends on the fate of Manchester City in the FA Cup, who will face Manchester United in the final showdown.

If Manchester City manages to win the FA Cup, then the sixth-ranked team will automatically qualify for the Europa League as the Cityzens are already qualified for Europe. However, if Manchester United goes on to clinch the FA Cup instead of their City rivals, then they can qualify for either the Europa League or the UEFA Conference League. This means that Pep Guardiola and his side will have an entire fanbase from another club cheering for them in the final of the English Cup. The equation is very simple: Chelsea must finish sixth in the Premier League table and Man City will have to beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final.

If Chelsea finish seventh in the Premier League this season, at the moment which looks tough to be achieved, they will feature in the Conference League next season because of Liverpool’s presence in the Champions League. Liverpool won the Carabao Cup and earned a place in the lowest-ranked UEFA tournament. But, as they are already in Europe, the seventh team in the points table can get a chance to play in Europe via play-offs.

For Manchester United, they have a great chance to qualify for Europe next season even if they finish eighth in the English top flight. In that case, either Chelsea or Newcastle United have the possibility to miss the European football. Chelsea’s chances of sealing a European spot actually depend on the other teams’ performances. If next week’s game between Newcastle and Man United ends in a draw, then it would make it easier for Chelsea to secure the sixth spot.

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