Newcastle United handed UEFA blow as Manchester United, Chelsea and Man City set for key role

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Newcastle United are set be impacted by results in Europe this week.

The Premier League’s hopes of securing additional spots in next season’s European competitions were dealt a major blow last night after Manchester City and Arsenal exited the Champions League.

A new Swiss-league format introduced by UEFA will see four more teams enter the Champions League in 2024-25 with one extra place going to the top two performing leagues. In England’s case, it’d be fifth position, and that is decided by whose clubs perform best across the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League.

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England are currently third behind Italy and Germany in the 2023-24 UEFA country coefficient, and the chances of overturning the deficit essentially rests with Liverpool and West Ham United in their Europa League second legs tonight.

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But their progression into the semi-finals has been plunged into major doubt. Liverpool trail 3-0 to Serie A side Atalanta, while West Ham are 2-0 down to German champions Bayer Leverkusen, who haven’t lost a game all season.

Should ties go as expected, Aston Villa - who lead Lille 2-1 from their Europa Conference League quarter-final first leg - will be the only English team left in Europe. In short, a miracle is needed.

Italy are guaranteed to have at least one team in the Europa League last four with AC Milan and Roma going head-to-head, while Atalanta should join either team. Then, in the Conference League, Fiorentina are aiming to get past Czech Republic outfit Viktoria Plzen with the tie level at 0-0.

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Meanwhile, Germany still have both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League after their last eight victories over Arsenal & Atletico Madrid, respectively, and Leverkusen in the Europa League.

The current standings are:

  1. Italy, 18.428
  2.  Germany, 17.642 ------
  3. England, 16.875
  4.  Spain, 15.312
  5. France, 15.250

Fifth spot may not sound like benefits Newcastle United as they currently sit 10 points below Tottenham Hotspur but it has a knock-on effect on Europa League and Conference League qualification.

Should fifth become a Champions League place, the automatic Europa League spot drops to sixth and the Conference League spot drops to seventh. It could potentially fall to eighth if the FA Cup winners have already qualified for Europe.

But with the extra Champions League spot all-but gone - who wins the FA Cup - which guarantees a Europa League place - between Manchester United, Coventry City, Chelsea and Man City could be key for Eddie Howe’s side.

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As it stands, sixth position - which Newcastle currently occupy - is a Europa Conference League spot, and that will remain the same if the winners finish seventh or below.

Essentially, Man City winning the FA Cup would guarantee sixth gets Europa League and seventh gets Europa Conference League. But if Man United or Chelsea were to win the competition and finish sixth, seventh would qualify for the Europa Conference League.

The worst possible scenario for the Magpies would be to finish seventh and the winners finish below them. That would mean no Europe altogether.

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