Premier League’s Bonus European Place in the Balance

The Premier League’s chances of securing a bonus European qualifying place took a hit this week as English clubs stuttered as the first leg of the quarter-finals took place across all three UEFA club competitions.

Italy’s Serie A are all but assured one of the two extra places, leaving the Premier League and the Bundesliga to battle it out for the second spot. The Premier League held a narrow lead entering the quarter-finals but with Aston Villa being the only Premier League side to win their first leg, the Bundesliga has nudged ahead again.

Should the Premier League earn a bonus place, five clubs will qualify for the 2024/25 Champions League and, FA Cup winner dependent, the 6th and 7th placed clubs in the Premier League will go forward to the Europa League, with the 8th placed club heading to the UEFA Conference League.

With just one win in the last six Premier League wins, Albion’s hopes of heading on a second European tour are now looking slim. Albion currently sit five points behind 7th-placed West Ham, although Roberto De Zerbi’s side do have a game in hand. Let’s caveat that right away by mentioning that the catch-up game is against title-chasers Manchester City.

A win this weekend at Burnley, with a couple of helpful results elsewhere, may have Seagulls fans tentatively checking their passport expiration dates. Ultimately, however, those on the fringes of the Premier League’s European hunt may be relying on most of Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, West Ham and Aston Villa to emerge victorious in the quarter-final second legs next week.

Opta Analyst Nils Mackay still has the Premier League favourites to clinch the second bonus spot, but it’s a close run thing.

Image courtesy of Reuters