Champions League qualification: What do Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester need to do to finish in Premier League top four? By Charlotte Harpur May 20, 2021 43 In a season when the title, runners-up spot and the three relegation places have all been sewn up with time to spare, there is still plenty to decide as we go into Sunday’s final round of Premier League fixtures. The European places are in flux, with every team from third to 10th technically still able to nab a spot in one of three competitions — the Champions League, the Europa League and the new Europa Conference League. The Athletic has taken a look at what each club needs to do on Sunday to qualify for their priority tournament. Champions League qualification Chelsea Chelsea are in control of their own destiny. An away win over Aston Villa would secure third place on 70 points and guarantee Champions League qualification. That would represent a significant achievement for Thomas Tuchel, who took over in January with the club ninth in the table. If, however, Liverpool and Leicester City both win on the final day while Chelsea draw or lose, they would qualify for the Europa League instead. Of course, if that happened, they could still qualify for the Champions League by winning that competition’s 2020-21 final against Manchester City next Saturday (more on the ramifications of that game in Porto later). Liverpool After goalkeeper Alisson’s heroics at West Bromwich Albion, Leicester’s midweek loss to Chelsea and their win against Burnley 24 hours later, Liverpool are now fourth, level on points with Leicester but with a superior goal difference. The Champions League spot is theirs if they match Leicester’s result on Sunday, regardless of what Chelsea do. Liverpool meet Crystal Palace while Leicester face Tottenham Hotspur, with both top-four chasing sides having the advantage of playing at home in front of their fans. Leicester City Having won the FA Cup, Leicester are guaranteed European football next season but will they sneak into the Champions League places after losing out at the death at the end of 2019-20? They are level with Liverpool on 66 points but have the inferior goal difference. They must beat Tottenham at home and hope Chelsea lose to Villa or Liverpool fail to win their old boss Roy Hodgson’s final game as Palace manager. If Chelsea and Liverpool both win, Leicester would have to better Liverpool’s score by four goals to finish fourth. A point will also be enough for Leicester if Liverpool lose to Palace. Europa League qualification West Ham United West Ham are sixth on 62 points. A draw at home to Southampton would keep them in the top six and secure the second Europa League spot. If they lose though, Tottenham (and, technically, Everton) could overtake them, leaving David Moyes’ side to be Europa Conference League trailblazers. It would take Spurs picking up all three points in Leicester and Everton winning at Manchester City with an eight-goal swing to keep West Ham out of European competition altogether. Tottenham Europa League football is out of Spurs’ hands. They have to overcome Leicester and see if West Ham lose to Southampton. If they stay seventh, Tottenham would go into the Europa Conference League. If Everton better their result to poop City’s title party though, or if they fail to get maximum points in Leicester while Arsenal win at home to Brighton & Hove Albion, Spurs will be without European competition entirely. Europa Conference League qualification Everton Everton are level on points with Tottenham but three points behind West Ham with a vastly inferior goal difference. Assuming they don’t beat Manchester City by at least seven goals, their Europa League hopes are over. Instead, they can focus on the final push for… Europa Conference League qualification. That’s how you save a season. If they better both Tottenham’s and Arsenal’s results, they will secure seventh place. Arsenal All that remains for Arsenal is the prospect of the Europa Conference League. Their fate, however, is out of their hands. Sitting ninth, one point behind Everton, their match against Brighton is a must-win. They also have to hope that Tottenham and Everton don’t win their games. Leeds After a phenomenal run over the last 10 games — 21 points from 30 — Leeds have what could be called an outside shot of securing European football going into the last game of their first season back in the top flight. However, they would need Tottenham, Everton and Arsenal to lose, and mastermind a 15-goal swing on Spurs in seventh in their home game against relegated West Bromwich Albion. Well, it has been a strange season, after all. What happens if Chelsea win the Champions League? The only spanner in the works is if Chelsea finish outside the top four and then win the Champions League. What would change is that they would qualify automatically for UEFA’s No 1 club competition next year. But it would not really hurt Leicester or Liverpool if they have managed to overhaul the Londoners in the table. They would still take a place alongside them in the 2021-22 Champions League. Only seven clubs from England qualify for Europe, no matter what the finishing positions or the nationality of the European trophies’ winners. So, if Chelsea finish fifth and win the Champions League, there will only be one Europa League representative from England next season (the team that finishes sixth). The club who finish seventh would still get a place in the Europa Conference League. What if Manchester United win the Europa League? The Europa League winners are handed a Champions League place for the following season but, by finishing second in the Premier League, United have secured that anyway, so nothing will change.