Champions League qualification for Premier League teams: Breakdown of all possible scenarios
As we approach the final matchday of this season's English Premier League, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have locked down the top 4 automatic UEFA Champions League qualifying spots in the league table, barring a highly unlikely scenario where Spurs lose and Arsenal win by a huge margin to overcome their respective goal differences.
This has been a fantastic season for English football with both the Champions League and the Europa League finals reduced to an all-English affair and with the English teams performing well in major tournaments. While Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool face Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final on the 2nd of June, Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea go up against Unai Emery's Arsenal in the Europa League final on the 30th of May.
The English National team also has improved by leaps and bounds, impressing all with their sensational run to the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals and has now again raised expectations by reaching the UEFA Nations League semi-final, scheduled for June.
Scenario 1- Tottenham finish outside the top four (Highly unlikely)
In the unlikely scenario that Tottenham finish outside the top four, they have to win the Champions League to automatically qualify for the next season of the UCL as defending champions. This means that irrespective of the result of the Europa League final, Arsenal will qualify, making the total number of English teams participating to be five instead of four.
In case Tottenham lose the Champions League final and finish fifth in the EPL standings, they do not qualify for the Champions League as there is no automatic berth for the losing finalists.
Scenario 2- Arsenal win the Europa League final & Tottenham finish fourth in EPL
In all probability, Arsenal are likely to finish outside the top four in the Premier League. In that case, nothing but winning the Europa League will see Unai Emery's side qualify for the 2019-20 edition of the Champions League. If that happens, again the number of English teams participating in the UCL becomes 5 with the top 4-Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham qualifying along with Arsenal.
There can be a maximum of five teams from one country participating in the Champions League meaning that even if Arsenal finish fourth in the EPL and end up winning the Europa League, then England will not get an extra spot.
With Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea having assured their top 4 finishes, Arsenal has to go all in for the Europa League final to ensure qualification with Spurs in all probability, likely to finish fourth.