Champions League: How Chelsea vs Manchester City final could affect the top four

·3 min read
<p>Chelsea winning the Champions League could impact the top four race in the Premier League</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea winning the Champions League could impact the top four race in the Premier League

(AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea will play Manchester City in an all-English Champions League final after Thomas Tuchel’s side progressed past Real Madrid on Wednesday night.

It will be the third time that two Premier League sides have met in the biggest game in European club football, following the 2008 clash between Manchester United and Chelsea and the 2019 final between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

City will go into the Istanbul final on 29 May favourites after dispatching Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday and Pep Guardiola’s side are also only one win away from the Premier League title.

But Chelsea’s recent victory over City in the FA Cup semi-finals could mean that the Londoners have the edge in the match-up, with the FA Cup final against Leicester to come on 15 May.

The Blues are also facing a fight to finish in the Premier League’s top four, with West Ham, Tottenham and Liverpool also pushing for a spot - but the outcome of the Champions League final could have huge implications on that race.

So too could the outcome of the Europa League, which has Premier League clubs Manchester United and Arsenal in the semi-finals of the competition. The winner of the Europa League gains automatic entry into the Champions League.

Here’s a breakdown of the possible scenarios and how they could affect the battle for European qualification.

Manchester City win the Champions League

England is allocated four spots in the 32-team Champions League, while an extra spot is reserved for the winner’s of the competition - but only if they fail to qualify through their domestic league.

So, with Manchester City’s top-four spot already secured, England would not receive an additional qualification berth if City were to win the Champions League.

Chelsea would still have to finish in the top four of the Premier League to qualify for next season’s Champions League, despite reaching the final this campaign.

Chelsea win the Champions League, and finish in the top four

Again, this would have no affect the Premier League. England would remain with four spots for next season’s competition, and the fifth place team in the Premier League would go straight into the Europa League group stages.

Chelsea win the Champions League, but finish outside the top four

Chelsea would qualify for the Champions League, and England would have five teams in next season’s competition. The fourth place team in the Premier League would retain their qualification to the Champions League.

Chelsea win the Champions League and finish in the top four; Arsenal win the Europa League

England would have five teams in next season’s competition, with Arsenal joining the top four clubs in qualifying for the group stages.

Chelsea win the Champions League but finish outside the top four; Arsenal win the Europa League

This would have the biggest ramification of all of the possible scenarios as no matter what happens, England can only send a maximum of five teams into the Champions League.

As stated above, Chelsea would qualifying for next season’s Champions League, regardless of where they finish in the Premier League.

This would also apply to Arsenal, who are currently ninth in the Premier League, if they won the Europa League.

The result is that the fourth place team in the Premier League would not qualify for the Champions League - in a similar outcome to the one that saw Tottenham miss out on the Champions League despite finishing fourth when Chelsea won the tournament in 2012.

In this scenario, the fourth place team in the Premier League would only qualify for the Europa League.

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