Only a few days ago the match against Wolverhampton on Sunday was of little meaning for Tottenham Hotspur. However, following the results on Saturday that included a West Ham draw and Leicester City lifting the FA Cup, Tottenham controls their own Europa League Destiny. If Tottenham can manage three wins from the final three matches, the Spurs can finish no worse than in the Europa League group stage for next season.
Seven Premier League teams in Europe
Part of the reason, Tottenham knows they can make the Europa League by winning out is because the Premier League is now guaranteed to have seven teams in European competition next season. By virtue of their win over Chelsea today, Leicester City has punched their ticket to Europa League.
While the Foxes can still finish top four and go to the Champions League, they are going to finish no worse than going to Europa. Further by virtue of the West Ham draw today, Leicester is also guaranteed to finish no worse than fifth.
The Premier League explanation of European qualification says that “If the FA Cup winners finish in the top five of the Premier League, their UEL group stage place will go to the next-highest ranked team not qualified for UEFA competitions in the Premier League.”
Given Leicester City can finish no worse than fifth, that means the sixth-place team gets the FA Cup ticket to the Europa League group stage.
Manchester City guarantees the seventh team Europe
As the EFL Cup losers, we knew that the winners of the EFL Cup are guaranteed a place in the new third tier Europa Conference League if they are not already qualified for another UEFA competition. In this case, we know Manchester City is qualified for the Champions League, so the seventh-placed team gets the new Europa Conference League.
Of course, this is all great for the team that finishes sixth and goes to Europa League versus the team that finishes seventh and goes to the Conference League. This is where the table comes into play and now all Tottenham has to do is win out.