Arsenal still has a ‘panya’ route to Europa

Wednesday, July 29th, 2020 00:00 |
Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring their third goal against Watford during their English Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium in London on Sunday. Photo/PD/AFP

London, Wednseday

A dramatic final day of action in Premier League on Sunday saw the top six places finalised ahead for next season.

But the Europa League places are still to be decided as Tottenham and Arsenal await their fate.

Manchester United sealed third spot with a 2-0 win over Leicester City, while Chelsea beat Wolves by the same scoreline at Stamford Bridge to take the last top-four spot.

Those defeats mean Leicester and Wolves finish fifth and seventh respectively, with Tottenham’s draw away at Crystal Palace enough for them to snatch sixth place on the final day.

But with Chelsea and Arsenal preparing for the FA Cup final, whereby the winner qualifies for Europe, and Wolves still in this season’s Europa League competition, there may yet be more alterations to the qualifying procedures.

Leicester will be placed directly into the Europa League group stage after finishing fifth.

Man City won the Carabao Cup - which has an automatic qualification spot - but because they have qualified for the Champions League, that transfers to sixth place. 

That means Tottenham will enter at the second qualifying round phase, playing a one-legged tie scheduled for September 17.

FA Cup winners permutations

Typically, the winners of the FA Cup qualify for the Europa League group stage.

But if Chelsea - who have already secured a top-six finish - win the competition, the privilege transfers to Tottenham who will go straight into the group stage.

That could be crucial for Jose Mourinho’s side, with the group stage likely to begin a month later in October.

If Arsenal win the FA Cup, the Gunners will be entered into the group stage at the expense of Tottenham, who will be confined to the second qualifying round.

Europa League winners

If Man United win the competition, it will not impact access to the Champions League or Europa League from the Premier League - instead allowing teams from other coefficients to benefit by entering at a later round.

However, the story is entirely different if Wolves are triumphant. They would join Liverpool, Man City, Man United and Chelsea in the Champions League as a fifth English side - the maximum number of teams allowed by Uefa.

If Arsenal were to then win the FA Cup, they would qualify for the Europa League meaning eight English clubs are represented in Europe.

But if Chelsea secured the FA Cup, England would forfeit the extra qualifying place and Arsenal would not participate in Uefa competition next season.

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