The final games are almost upon us. Although the race for the Premier League title is already done and dusted, thanks to Liverpool wrapping up the championship with seven games to spare, there are still several European spots to be claimed in the remaining games.
Under normal circumstances, according to the Premier League guidelines for European qualification, the top four teams qualify for the Champions League. Meanwhile, the League Cup and FA Cup winners qualify for the Europa League, accompanied by the fifth-placed team in the Premier League.
The battle for Europe was almost made even more complicated, following an initial two-year ban imposed on Manchester City by UEFA. The English club were accused of breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, yet after a successful appeals process, they were able to overturn that decision via the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). While they still have to pay a hefty fine, the ban from European competitions has been revoked.
Back to action on the pitch, we could be in for a grandstand finale to the Premier League campaign, given that practically speaking, the entire top half of the Premier League remains in the race for European competitions. Five will be competing for the two remaining Champions League spots, while the rest will be battling for up to three Europa League spots.
With so much at stake during the final games of the campaign, shopping around for the best Premier League match odds will certainly be worthwhile. Many of the best Premier League betting sites will be offering bonus packages or odds boost incentives, looking to attract new customers. What’s more, match odds and markets can vary between betting sites, therefore checking reviews and making comparisons is always useful.
Aiming to secure those last two Champions League spots, jostling for third and fourth positions are Chelsea, Manchester United, and Leicester City. They will also be looking over their shoulders, as Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sheffield United are also ready to pounce, should anyone above them falter. All of those teams lead the way as potential Europa League candidates. This is likely to lead to an exciting summer transfer window, especially after how boring January’s window was, as the new challengers look to build on their success while some of the traditional heavyweights aim to get back on top.
Thanks to Manchester City winning the League Cup earlier this season, an extra Europa League spot is now available to the Premier League. Should one of the top four also win the FA Cup, the Europa League spot for that competition will also revert to the Premier League. Crazy as it sounds, any of the teams currently between third and tenth, could yet claim one of the three possible Europa League spots up for grabs.
This means that even after having endured such difficult seasons, there may still be a slim chance for Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, and even Burnley. Indeed, if they manage to produce strong form in the final games, any of those three teams could yet climb to sixth or seventh in the Premier League, earning them participation in the Europa League next season.
Insofar as most bookies are concerned, Manchester United and Chelsea are fancied to claim the two Champions League spots, while Leicester City may have to settle for fifth position and the Europa League. They could be joined by Wolves and Sheffield United, although odds have recently shortened for Spurs, who could yet make a late push. Whatever happens, it’s going to be an exciting finish to the 2019-20 Premier League campaign.