All three UEFA competitions could be won by Premier League clubs this season.
Following the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League this week, there is still at least one English side left in each competition.
In the Champions League, Liverpool and Manchester City will fancy their chances of reaching the final as they face Villarreal and Real Madrid respectively.
In the Europa League, West Ham overcame Lyon to set up a semi-final clash against Frankfurt.
Meanwhile, Leicester beat PSV and will now play Roma in the semi-final of the Europa Conference League.
Having got this far, all four Premier League sides will be dreaming of European success.
If there are English winners in all three UEFA competitions, we could see a rather incredible scenario of there being NINE Premier League clubs in Europe next season.
How there could be 9 Premier League clubs in Europe
ESPN’s Dale Johnson has explained how in a detailed thread.
He begins: “With Leicester and West Ham in the semifinals of the UEL and UECL, and on the back of questions last night, a thread to explain how their performance affects the number of Premier League teams in Europe. The maximum number of Premier League teams in Europe next season is 9. ”
He adds: “Common misconception is that the maximum is 7, but that’s not the case. Places for European titleholders are standalone if said titleholders do not qualify domestically. However, it’s very, very rare for a European titleholder to finish outside the domestic places that season.
“If a European titleholder DOES qualify domestically, they play in the highest-ranked competition. So, if West Ham win UEL and finish in a UEL or UECL spot in the Premier League, they play in the UCL as the UEL titleholder. That PL place in the UEL or UECL is then vacant.
“For example, last season Sevilla won the UEL, thus qualifying for the UCL as titleholders. Sevilla also finished in the UECL place in LaLiga. Therefore, that place was left vacant, meaning LaLiga had no representative in the inaugural UECL.
(NB – Dale means Villarreal, not Sevilla)
“So, how will European qualification work in the Premier League this season? What we know with absolute certainty is the top 4 will play in the Champions League and 5th with be in the Europa League. What will happen to 6th and 7th depends on Crystal Palace.
“If Crystal Palace wins the FA Cup, they will be in the UEL and 6th in the Premier League will be in the UECL. If Crystal Palace do not win the FA Cup, 6th in the Premier League will be in the UEL and 7th will be in the UECL.
“Nothing else can alter domestic qualifying positions. The performance of Leicester and West Ham cannot affect which competition another Premier League team has earned, either positively or negatively. It cannot create extra places, other than for themselves as titleholders.
“As Leicester are almost certain to finish outside the top 7 in the Premier League, if they win the UECL then England will have 8 teams in Europe next season. 4 in the UCL 3 in the UEL (Leicester, 5th, FA Cup) 1 in the UECL (6th or 7th).
England will only have 9 teams in Europe if West Ham also win the UEL and finish 8th (or 7th / 8th with Palace winning the FA Cup). So it could be: 5 in the UCL (West Ham, top 4) 3 in the UEL (Leicester, 5th, FA Cup) 1 in the UECL (6th or 7th). ”
So to have nine Premier League clubs in Europe next season, West Ham need to win the Europa League and finish outside the top six, Leicester need to win the Europa Conference League and Crystal Palace need to win the FA Cup.
That would be extraordinary.
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