The “Top Four” Are Not The Top Premier League Teams Anymore

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Manchester City - The Champions league holders
Manchester City are the Champions League holders (Credits: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

If you are following the premier league fixture for this season, it will be hard not to hear the reference word ‘top four.’

In the past seasons, only the top four finishing clubs were guaranteed a place in the Champions League and in the UEFA’s blue riband European competition. But this has been changed now.

How many teams will be playing in next season’s Champions League?

There will be an increase of four teams, which brings to a total of 36 teams in the Champions League from 2024-2025.

From the next season, there won’t be a structure of eight groups of four teams. Instead, there will be a 36-team “Swiss model” in which every team will be playing a total of ten games- five at home, five away.

The fixtures will be based on seedings, and the ranking of teams will be from 1 to 36. The top 8 teams will advance to a 16-team knockout round, which leads into a play-off round to decide the final eight.

Manchester city 2023-2034 UEFA
Manchester City is the UEFA Champions League holder (Credits: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Will England earn a fifth Champions League place?

The chances of England earning an additional Champions place are high. England has been top-ranking in UEFA for four consecutive seasons, and they have a high domestic strength compared to their European rivals.

There are eight Premier League in Europe this season. They are Champions League winners- Manchester City joined at the top table by Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle United.

The eighth English team to qualify for Europe was West Ham United, who earned access to the Europa League by winning the Europa Conference League.

Other leagues with the most qualifying places

England, Spain, Italy, and Germany get four automatic Champions League group spots as they are the four best-performing countries, according to UEFA.

France and Portugal get two spots, and the Champions of Netherlands, Austria, Serbia, and Scotland make it to the group stage.

Newcastle during the group stage
Newcastle’s group stage appearance in the last Champions League two decades ago (Credits: Nicolas Tucat/AFP)

How many Premier League teams can qualify for the Champions?

The new ‘top five’ is ignored, focusing on the ‘super seven.’ That will be the total number of Premier League teams reaching the Champions League next season. But keep in mind that it is very unlikely to happen.

Assuming the English teams perform well in Europe, then five Premier League teams will qualify for the Champions League based on their rankings.

Two more English teams will be joining if they win the Champions League and Europa League, respectively, while finishing with a lower than fifth in the Premier League.

How many English teams could play in Europe next season?

Theoretically, there could be 11 English teams in European competition next season, which is more than half the number of teams in the table.

Seven from the Champions League, Three from the Europa League, and the winners from the Carabao Cup qualify for the play-off round of the Europa Conference League, which brings us to a total of 11 teams for Europe next season.

There is also a wild fantasy for 10 Premier Leagues and a side from the top flight of winners from the FA Cup or Carabao Cup. But the chances of that happening are extremely low.

This is just a theory and will be confusing if seen on a table layout.

Also Read: The “Strange” Pass During the Arsenal vs. Everton Match.


By Richard

All in one crazy for sports, especially baseball.

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