Permutations in Europe: What's still at stake in final week of season?
EPL

Permutations in Europe: What's still at stake in final week of season?

May 20, 2024

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All of Europe’s top leagues have crowned their champions for 2023-24, but there are still positions to be decided, European berths to be won, and more up for grabs going into the final week of the domestic season. Here’s the state of play across the top tiers.

Note: This story will be updated weekly until the end of the season.

Premier League (season complete) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Naomi Baker / Getty Images Sport / Getty

League title

What was once a three-team battle ended up being a two-horse race going into the final day of the season. Manchester City claimed an unprecedented fourth successive Premier League title, beating Arsenal by two points.

European qualification

The Premier League was unable to net an additional Champions League place for next season, so only the top four could qualify. Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Aston Villa sealed those spots.

Tottenham finished fifth, and will head to the Europa League (UEL) next season. Chelsea used a late-season surge to grab sixth place, and, for now, the Europa Conference League (UECL) berth that goes with it.

Newcastle came in seventh, just missing out on European competitions, but that could yet change depending on the outcome of the FA Cup final on May 25 at Wembley Stadium.

If Manchester United, who finished eighth, win the trophy, they automatically go to the Europa League. But if Manchester City beat their rivals in a second consecutive final and retain the silverware, the Europa League spot designated for the cup winners transfers to the sixth-placed finisher in the league (Chelsea), and, by extension, the Conference League place drops down to seventh (Newcastle).

Relegation and promotion

All three promoted teams from last year are going right back down to the Championship.

Sheffield United recorded just three wins from 37 games, conceding a Premier League-record 104 goals. Vincent Kompany’s Burnley only mustered five wins en route to relegation, while Luton Town, despite earning some praise throughout the season, ultimately finished six points adrift of safety.

Meanwhile, Leicester City and Ipswich Town grabbed the two automatic promotion places from the Championship; the Foxes are making an immediate return, while the Tractor Boys are going back to the top flight after a 22-year absence.

The always thrilling promotion playoffs will decide the last team to make the jump. Leeds United and Southampton will meet in the playoff final on May 26.

La Liga (1 round remaining) 🇪🇸

Florencia Tan Jun / Getty Images Sport / Getty

League title

Real Madrid were crowned Spanish champions for a record-extending 36th time.

European qualification

Real Madrid and Barcelona are assured of Champions League spots. They’ll be joined, incredibly, by Girona, whose Cinderella season will yield a first-ever berth in the competition. Michel’s team clinched the spot by defeating Barca. Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, sealed a 12th consecutive appearance in the Champions League this week.

Athletic’s Copa del Rey triumph sent them to the Europa League, while Real Sociedad finished sixth to join them. Real Betis are locked into seventh place and will partake in the Conference League festivities next season.

Relegation and promotion

Almeria and Granada combined for just six wins all season. Cadiz, meanwhile, couldn’t pull off a great escape. All told, there’s nothing left to be decided in La Liga going into the last day of the campaign.

Nobody has secured promotion from the second tier as of yet, but Leganes, Valladolid, and Eibar are in pole position.

Bundesliga (season complete) 🇩🇪

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League title

Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen, whose historic season-long unbeaten run currently stands at 51 matches across all competitions, clinched their first-ever Bundesliga title weeks ago. They also became the first team in Bundesliga history to complete an undefeated domestic season by winning their final league match of the campaign against Augsburg on Saturday.

European qualification

The Bundesliga earned an extra Champions League spot for next season, meaning five teams will compete in the 2024-25 event. Leverkusen will be joined by Stuttgart, Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, and Borussia Dortmund.

There’s still intrigue here, though. If Dortmund, who finished fifth, win the Champions League, the sixth-placed finisher in the Bundesliga will also head to the tournament next year. That scenario, once farfetched, is very much in play after Edin Terzic’s men upset PSG to reach the Champions League final, where they’ll play Real Madrid on June 1.

The identity of Germany’s two Europa League entrants will be dictated, in part, by the DFB-Pokal final on May 25, where Leverkusen will take on a Kaiserslautern side that’s mired in a relegation battle … in the second tier. Should they pull off the stunning upset, they’ll earn one of Germany’s Europa League berths, while the other will go to Eintracht Frankfurt, the Bundesliga’s sixth-placed finisher.

If Leverkusen win, the Europa places go to the sixth- and seventh-placed finishers. Hoffenheim, who finished seventh, would be the big beneficiary in that scenario.

At present, the seventh-placed team will make the Conference League, but the DFB-Pokal final result could bump that berth down to Heidenheim, who just pipped Werder Bremen and Freiburg to eighth place.

Each of the clubs mentioned above will be Leverkusen fans on May 25.

Relegation and promotion

The bottom two in the 18-team Bundesliga are relegated automatically, while the squad that finishes 16th enters a playoff against the third-placed finisher from the 2. Bundesliga.

Darmstadt were sent packing long before the final day of the season. FC Koln joined them Saturday.

There was incredible drama on the final day, as Union Berlin, who went into Saturday’s action in 16th place, scored a 92nd-minute winner against Freiburg to leap up to 15th and avoid the relegation playoff. Bochum, who lost 4-1 to Werder Bremen, dropped down to 16th, and will contest a two-legged playoff against Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Club GP GD Points
14. Monchengladbach 34 -11 34
15. Union Berlin 34 -25 33
16. Bochum 34 -32 33
17. Koln 34 -32 27
18. Darmstadt 34 -56 17

Holstein Kiel will play in the Bundesliga for the first time in club history next season, with St. Pauli joining them.

Serie A (1 round remaining) 🇮🇹

Francesco Scaccianoce / Getty Images Sport / Getty

League title

Inter Milan, the dominant force in Italy this year, clinched their 20th Scudetto with last month’s win over city rivals AC Milan.

European qualification

Just like Germany, Italy also earned an extra Champions League place for next season, so at least five teams will qualify. Both Milanese clubs punched their tickets early. Bologna’s fairy-tale campaign culminated with a Champions League place; the club hasn’t featured in the event in the modern era, last appearing in the European Cup in 1964. Despite an abysmal run in 2024, Juventus secured a spot, too, and will return to European competition after a one-year hiatus. Atalanta sealed their place on Saturday.

Serie A could yet send six teams to the Champions League if Atalanta win the Europa League. For that to happen, La Dea will need to do something nobody else has accomplished this season: beat Bayer Leverkusen. They meet in the Europa League final on May 22.

Club GP GD Points
6. Roma 37 +20 63
7. Lazio 37 +10 60
8. Fiorentina 36 +13 54
9. Torino 37 +3 53
10. Napoli 37 +7 52

With Fiorentina set to play in the Conference League final against Olympiacos on May 29, there is a scenario in which Serie A could send nine teams to European competitions next season, as outlined by Dale Johnson of ESPN:

Relegation and promotion

The bottom three sides go down to Serie B. Salernitana, who have just two wins all season, have been relegated. Sassuolo, despite beating Inter twice this season, saw their 11-year run in the top flight come to an end Sunday.

Udinese, who have been in the top division since 1995 and have made several appearances in Europe during that time, are on their third manager of the campaign – Fabio Cannavaro – as they look to avoid a shocking relegation.

Club GP GD Points
15. Frosinone 37 -24 35
16. Verona 36 -14 34
17. Udinese 37 -17 34
18. Empoli 37 -26 33
19. Sassuolo 37 -32 29
20. Salernitana 36 -48 16

Iconic Italian outfit Parma and Como, the ambitious club from the picturesque city that counts Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas as minority shareholders, have already secured promotion back to Serie A. Venezia, Cremonese, Palermo, and Catanzaro are in the semifinals of the promotions playoffs.

Ligue 1 (season complete) 🇫🇷

CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP / Getty

League title

Paris Saint-Germain were crowned Ligue 1 champions for the 10th time in the last 12 seasons, claiming a record-extending 12th French title in the process.

European qualification

Ligue 1, unlike its peers on this list, only gets three automatic Champions League places, while the fourth-placed finisher goes into the qualifying stage of the tournament. PSG and Monaco sealed their spots with time to spare.

Brest finished third in dramatic fashion on the final day of the season. They started the day in fourth, trailing third-placed Lille, and stayed that way into the 90th minute of play. Despite cruising to a win over Toulouse, the modest Brittany-based outfit needed some help. They got it from Nice, who scored a 93rd-minute goal to hold Lille to a 2-2 draw, sending Brest to the Champions League for the first time.

Nice and Lyon are going to the Europa League. The latter, who take on PSG in the Coupe de France final on May 25, were mired in the relegation battle at one point earlier in the season. Lens will play in the Conference League.

Relegation and promotion

The bottom two, Clermont Foot and Lorient, were relegated. Metz, who finished 16th in the top tier, will head to a playoff against one of Saint-Etienne, Rodez, or Paris FC from Ligue 2.

Auxerre, who were relegated last season, ensured an immediate return to the French top flight by clinching the Ligue 2 title. Angers finished second to join them in making the leap.


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