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How finishing fourth in the Premier League this season is no guarantee



The competition for the top four in the Premier League is heating up. Manchester United in third and Brentford in eighth are separated by only eight points. Finishing fourth may appear to be a lock for Champions League qualifying, but it is not this season. This is why…

Top four states of competition

Manchester United is presently third in the Premier League. Erik ten Hag’s team is one point ahead of fourth-placed Tottenham, although they have two games in hand.

Spurs are two points clear of fifth-placed Newcastle, although the Magpies have played two more games, while Liverpool are five points behind in sixth, equal with Brighton and Brentford.

How placing fourth may not be safe

In normal conditions, the top four Premier League teams qualify for the Champions League group stage. As of now, those are Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham.

But, there are various ways to enter the challenge. The performance of Manchester United and Chelsea on the domestic and European stages will determine whether they finish fourth and do not qualify for next season’s competition.

Chelsea, who are now 10th in the Premier League, will automatically qualify for the group stage of next season’s championship if they win the Champions League.

Similarly, if Manchester United win the Europa League, they will automatically qualify for the group stage of the Champions League next season, even if they finish outside the top four in the Premier League.

According to UEFA regulations, there can only be five English teams in the Champions League, hence if the aforementioned scenario occurs, fourth place in the Premier League would miss out on Champions League qualifying and would be relegated to the Europa League group stage.

In the Champions League quarter-finals, Chelsea will meet Real Madrid, while Manchester United will face Sevilla in the Europa League last eight.

Predictor: The Spurs’ chances of finishing in the top four have dropped to 24%.

Tottenham have a 23% probability of finishing in the top four of the Premier League this season, despite uncertainty surrounding head coach Antonio Conte’s future.

Tottenham tripped up in the fight for Champions League football on Saturday, allowing a two-goal lead to slip late in the game against Southampton, drawing 3-3.

Conte went on a tirade in his post-match news conference, alleging his players are “selfish” and “cannot play under pressure and stress,” with Spurs due to make a decision on whether he continues in command soon.

Opta predicts Tottenham will finish sixth at the conclusion of the season, with a 23.9 percent chance of finishing in the top four.

Because they have two games in hand on Spurs, the two clubs behind them in the table, Newcastle and Liverpool, have a better chance of reaching Europe’s top table this season.

“I’m quite offended, and everyone must accept responsibility. Not just the club, the manager, and the staff must be involved in this predicament; the players must also be involved if Tottenham is to change.

“If they want to continue in this fashion, they may replace the management, a number of managers, but the situation cannot change. Trust me.”

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