By Peter Smith
Last Updated: 21/05/17 9:51pm
Which Premier League clubs will be playing European football next season – and how many English sides will there be in the Champions League?
This season Leicester City were the Premier League’s top performers in the Champions League, while Manchester United could yet secure a club-first Europa League crown in Stockholm on Wednesday.
But the picture of which teams will qualify for Europe next season is not completely straight forward. Here, we explain the situation…
Methods of qualifying for the Champions League and Europa League
There are several ways Premier League teams can qualify for the Champions League and Europa League.
– League position – The Premier League champions will be seeded in the Champions League group stage. Second and third also make the group stages. Fourth will qualify for the Champions League play-off round. Fifth place earns a Europa League group stage spot.
– Champions League win – Guarantees a place in the group stage of the Champions League for the following season.
– Europa League win – Guarantees at least a place in the Champions League play-offs.
– FA Cup win – Guarantees a Europa League group stage spot.
– EFL Cup win – Guarantees a Europa League third-qualifying round spot.
How has the FA Cup final affected Premier League teams and their European qualification?
The FA Cup final will be contested between Arsenal and Chelsea later this month. Normally, the winner of the FA Cup would be awarded a Europa League group stage spot.
However, because Arsenal and Chelsea will qualify for Europe through their league position that prize is passed on to the sixth-placed team in the Premier League.
The next catch is that Manchester United occupy sixth and they won the EFL Cup – which entitles the winner to a place in the Europa League third qualifying round.
So, United’s Europa League third qualifying round entry is passed on to the seventh-placed team in the Premier League.
That means Everton – who finished seventh – will be playing European football next season.
Would a Manchester United Europa League final win mean another Premier League team qualifies for Europe?
No. While a United win over Ajax would put them in the Champions League, the Europa League qualifying spot that frees up would not be passed on to the eighth-placed Premier League team.
The Premier League will either have four teams in the Champions League and three in the Europa League or five in the Champions League and two in the Europa League.
So what has your team qualified for?
Chelsea have won the Premier League, meaning they will be one of the top eight seeds in the group stage of next season’s Champions League.
Tottenham have confirmed their place as runners-up, meaning they will also go into the Champions League group stage.
Manchester City will go into the Champions League group stage after hammering Watford to secure a third-placed finish.
Liverpool confirmed their return to the Champions League after a three-year absence with a nervy victory over Middlesbrough on Sunday. They will enter in the final qualifying round, with a two-legged tie set to determine whether they advance to the tournament proper.
Arsenal finished outside the top four for the first time in 21 seasons this campaign, meaning they will enter the Europa League in the group stages.
Manchester United will also be playing in Europe next season. They can turn their current Europa League group stage berth (which is courtesy of the FA Cup prize being passed on) into a Champions League group stage spot by winning the Europa League final against Ajax.
Everton are the seventh English team to secure European football. That’s thanks to the Europa League third-qualifying round spot Manchester United earned by winning the EFL Cup being passed down to them.