Champions League and Europa League permutations – and what it all means for top four

The Premier League could claim both major European trophies before the season is over as English football continues its resurgence.

Liverpool and Tottenham secured their places in the semi-finals of the Champions League with aggregate successes over Porto and Manchester City respectively.

The Reds now take on Barcelona in the last four while Spurs must see off Ajax over two legs,

An all-English Europa League final is also a distinct possibility following quarter-final successes for Arsenal and Chelsea .

Eintracht Frankfurt stand between Chelsea and a place in the final in Baku while Arsenal come up against Valencia.

The excellent European form of Premier League clubs has led to uncertainty over what will happen in terms of qualifying for next season’s competitions.

Mirror Football have worked out what it all means – and it would be bad news for someone.

Tottenham are into the semi-finals of the Champions League

What happens to Champions League and Europa League winners?

UEFA rules state that the winners of the two European competitions go straight into next season’s Champions League group stage.

Even if the winners don’t qualify through the Premier League, they won’t face any play-off matches.

Liverpool could make the final for a second season running

How many English teams can be in Champions League?

The Premier League can have five clubs in the competition if the Champions League and/or Europa League winner does not make the top four.

So, if Tottenham win the Champions League and miss out, they will still qualify alongside the top four.

Likewise, with Arsenal or Chelsea if they win the Europa League.

The fourth-placed Premier League side would face a play-off match, as usual.

Lacazette and Aubameyang celebrate

How does that impact Europa League qualification?

While the number of Champions League clubs can be increased to five, the combined number of European spots doesn’t change.

So that just means two teams will be in the Europa League, rather than three.

If Arsenal/Chelsea win Europa League and finish fourth?

Eden Hazard reacts

The Premier League side who finish fourth usually enter the competition in the final play-off round.

If Arsenal or Chelsea lift the trophy in Baku in May, the respective round is rebalanced accordingly with UEFA’s rankings of respective associations.

England are currently ranked third on the list, behind Spain and Germany.

If Spurs win CL and Arsenal/Chelsea win EL – and neither make top four?

Heung-Min Son of Tottenham Hotspur

Now this is where things start getting interesting.

Liverpool, who are into the semi-finals, are assured of their top four spot but Tottenham certainly aren’t.

There is every chance they could finish fifth and win the Champions League – with Arsenal or Chelsea lifting the Europa League and coming sixth.

Both would still go into the group stages of the Champions League but UEFA rules state the lowest-placed Premier League side drops into the Europa League.

That means Manchester United could yet secure a top four spot but have to begin next term in the Europa League.

If Watford win the FA Cup as well?

Watford skipper Troy Deeney reacts

The two domestic cup winners get entrance to the Europa League.

Manchester City won the Carabao Cup but will make the top four so won’t need that spot, which goes to sixth.

They could of course win the FA Cup too but Watford will have other ideas when they meet at Wembley.

Watford would enter the Europa League qualifiers as one of two English participants.

If not, they can still qualify through finishing seventh – as can Wolves , Leicester , Everton etc.

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