The competition for the Champions League has heated up in recent weeks, with Liverpool and Newcastle joining Manchester United and Tottenham in targeting a top-four finish
Even if they finish fourth in the Premier League, Liverpool, Brighton, and Newcastle might be denied a place in the Champions League.
The fight to finish inside the top four is fierce, with a slew of teams vying for two spots, despite the fact that Arsenal and Manchester City have all but secured their places in the tournament for next season.
Liverpool, managed by Jurgen Klopp, has Champions League ambitions and hopes to put together a string of performances that would propel them into the top four by the conclusion of the season.
Along with the Reds, Newcastle, Brentford, and Brighton all have significant aspirations of breaking into the top four ahead of Manchester United or Tottenham Hotspur, who presently occupy those two slots.
Even if Liverpool finishes in the top four, there is a chance – albeit a small one – that they may miss out on Champions League status for next season.
If both Manchester United and Chelsea win Europe’s top two cup tournaments but fail to finish in the top four – and one of the other teams, including Liverpool, finishes fourth behind Arsenal, City, and someone else – they will be denied access to the Champions League. Instead, that team would have to make do with a place in the Europa League.
Tottenham missed out on Champions League participation in 2011/12 after Chelsea, who finished sixth, won Europe’s premier club title. The Blues will be aiming for a third title in 11 years when they face Real Madrid in the quarter-finals next month, with their Premier League rivals likely to back their Spanish opponents.
Newcastle can overtake Tottenham if they win either of their games in hand or beat third-place Manchester United immediately after the international break, while Liverpool and Brighton sit fifth and seventh, respectively.
Klopp stated last week regarding his team’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League: “It’s THE competition, and we want to compete every year. That has now become a big task for us. We are aware of this. As we return from the international break, we have a full football week ahead of us, with three games. City, Chelsea, and Arsenal will determine if we get out of it.”