REVEALED: How Liverpool, Brighton and Co are saving the Premier League's hopes for a fifth Champions League spot next season – after Man United and Newcastle finished bottom of their groups
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REVEALED: How Liverpool, Brighton and Co are saving the Premier League's hopes for a fifth Champions League spot next season – after Man United and Newcastle finished bottom of their groups

Dec 17, 2023

The Premier League‘s hopes of securing an extra place in the Champions League next season gained a much-needed boost after all four English teams in the Europa League and Conference League won their groups. 

The English top-flight had taken a sizeable hit on Wednesday after Newcastle followed Manchester United in being dumped out of the competition’s group stage with only two sides left in the competition, with progress this season having a direct knock-on effect for next year.

The European competition format is changing to a Swiss League system from next season, as we say goodbye to the traditional group stage that we have grown accustomed to over the years. 

Instead of eight pools of four teams playing each other twice, 36 clubs – four extra teams – will each be drawn against eight teams, playing four home and four away. 

Of those four new teams, two will be allotted to the leagues that finish highest in the coefficient tables, which are based on the performance of teams in European competitions. 

Liverpool were one of four English teams to win their groups in the Europa League and Conference League

Liverpool were one of four English teams to win their groups in the Europa League and Conference League 

Brighton also qualified top of their group after beating Marseille 1-0 at home on Thursday night

Brighton also qualified top of their group after beating Marseille 1-0 at home on Thursday night

COEFFICIENT TABLE ON THURSDAY

1. Germany – 13.36

2. Italy – 13.14

3. England – 12.13

4. Spain – 12.06

5. France – 10.42

6. Belgium – 10.20

7. Czech Republic – 9.25

8. Turkey – 9.00

9. Denmark – 8.50

10. Netherlands – 8.20

COEFFICIENT TABLE ON FRIDAY

1. Italy – 14.00 

2. Germany – 13.64 

3. England – 13.63 

4. Spain – 12.69 

5. Czech Republic – 12.00 

6. Belgium, 11.60

7. France, 11.58

8. Turkey, 10.50

9. Netherlands, 8.60

10. Denmark, 8.50

England are currently third in that table however the impressive showing of English sides in the Europa and Conference League have worked wonders for the Premier League’s hopes next season. 

Italy lead the race with 14.00 points, followed by Germany (13.64), England (13.63) and Spain (12.69), with these four leagues the most likely contenders given they have the most teams in Europe to begin with. 

However an unlikely fifth-placed nation, the Czech Republic, have snuck up on the leaders, closing the gap to LaLiga to just 0.69 points after a strong run of results in the Europa League and Conference League.

Slavia and Sparta Prague both made it out of their groups, the former as winners, in the Europa League, with Viktoria Plzen storming their Conference League group.  

This coefficient is a numerical value attributed to a division with the intention of quantifying its strength on the continent, determined by competition results. 

Two points are given to a team for every win in a continental competition, a draw one and none of course for a defeat. 

Bonus points are handed out for reaching certain stages; four for playing in the group stages, five for the last-16 and one each for the quarters, semis and final in the Champions League. 

For the Europa League it is four for winning the group, two for finishing second and one for reaching the knockouts, and in the Conference League it is two for topping the group, one for finishing second, and one for reaching the semis and final. 

Newcastle and Manchester United's early exits from the Champions League could have an impact on the coefficient table

Newcastle and Manchester United’s early exits from the Champions League could have an impact on the coefficient table

Newcastle were dumped out of the Champions League on Wednesday after finishing bottom of their group

Newcastle were dumped out of the Champions League on Wednesday after finishing bottom of their group

Each team’s totals are added up and an average is taken at the end of the competition, hence why the leagues with the most teams have the best chance of snatching another spot. 

As such, the fact that Liverpool, Brighton, West Ham and Aston Villa all won their groups handed the Premier League a much-needed boost with an extra 14 points. 

England had looked to be falling behind Italy ahead of Thursday’s round of fixtures, with the gap extending to 1.01 coefficient points, but that has now shrunk down to 0.01 points from Germany, Italy overtaking the Bundesliga into top spot. 

Fiorentina and Atalanta won their groups, with Roma progressing as runners up after Napoli, Inter Milan and Lazio all made it through their Champions League groups. 

With regards to Germany, Freiburg narrowly missed out on top spot in the Europa League to West Ham, hence England’s swing in the table, while Bayer Leverkusen coasted through their group and Frankfurt came second.  

Bayern Munich qualified top of their Champions League group which earns the Bundesliga extra bonus points

Bayern Munich qualified top of their Champions League group which earns the Bundesliga extra bonus points

Slavia Prague won their Europa League group on a night that saw Czech hopes improve drastically

Slavia Prague won their Europa League group on a night that saw Czech hopes improve drastically

IT’S ALL KICKING OFF! 

It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

Manchester City and Arsenal were the only two Premier League outfits to make the Last 16 in the Champions League, where the greater value of points is available, which could come back to hurt English hopes in the long run. 

As it stands, every Serie A team that entered European competitions this season is still in, although AC Milan face a Europa League play-off to remain in that competition after dropping out the Champions League. 

Six teams remain from the Premier League (from eight) and Bundesliga (from seven), while LaLiga have five teams from seven, but four sides won their Champions League groups in a huge boost to their coefficient, Villarreal doing the same in the Europa League. 

Paris Saint-Germain are the only French side left in the Champions League, with Lens into the Europa League play-offs, while Marseille, Toulouse and Rennes will also need to get through a play-off to remain in the competition. Lille did however win their Conference League group, the one victory for French sides. 

Jude Bellingham's Real Madrid were one of four Spanish teams to win their Champions League groups

Jude Bellingham’s Real Madrid were one of four Spanish teams to win their Champions League groups

All seven Italian sides are still in Europa with Inter, Napoli and Lazio in the Champions League Last 16

All seven Italian sides are still in Europa with Inter, Napoli and Lazio in the Champions League Last 16

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