Newcastle United’s potential routes into the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League

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The Magpies are looking to end a decade-long absence from European football this season.

Newcastle United head into the final six weeks of the Premier League season with the aim of trying to secure a return to European football for the first time in a decade.

Eddie Howe’s side have already exceeded the expectations of many supporters by thrusting themselves into the battle for a Champions League place - and they could further strengthen their hold on a top four place by claiming all three points in Sunday’s St James Park clash with Tottenham Hotspur. A home win would see the Magpies move six points clear of the North London outfit and they would still hold a game in hand on their top four rivals.

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However, even if United fall short in their bid for a Champions League spot, entry into one of UEFA’s other club competitions is well within their grasp. So before heading off to ensure their passports are in date, here is everything Mapgies supporters need to know about how Newcastle can qualify for Europe between now and the end of the season.

Europa Conference League

The Magpies have already missed out on guarenteed automatic entry into the group stage of UEFA’s third club competition after their Carabao Cup Final defeat at the hands of Manchester United. With the Red Devils now likely to qualify for the Champions League via a top four finish or, at very least, a place in the Europa League by finishing fifth, a sixth-placed finish would see Newcastle qualify for the Conference League - although there is a scenario that could see seventh place handed a place in the competition. More of that later!

Europa League

Newcastle’s last venture into European competition came ten years ago when Alan Pardew led the Magpies the last eight of UEFA’s second club competition before a quarter-final defeat against Portuguese giants Benfica ended any thoughts of sliverware.

Players line up before the UEFA Europa League quarter final second leg match between Newcastle United and SL Benfica at St James' Park on April 11, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images)Players line up before the UEFA Europa League quarter final second leg match between Newcastle United and SL Benfica at St James' Park on April 11, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images)
Players line up before the UEFA Europa League quarter final second leg match between Newcastle United and SL Benfica at St James' Park on April 11, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images) | Getty Images

A fifth placed finish would currently guarentee a return to the Europa League - but sixth would also see qualification acheived if Manchester United or Manchester City win the FA Cup and finish in the top five of the Premier League table. Now for the scenario where seventh place would qualify for the Conference League. That would come into play if Manchester United were to face Manchester City in the FA Cup Final and both clubs were to finish in the top five. That would see the team that ended the season in sixth place entered into the Europa League and seventh place would go into the Conference League.

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Should West Ham United battle through their quarter-final tie with Belgian club Gent and win this season’s Conference League, they would be entered into next season’s Europa League and this would have no impact on the Premier League’s other entrants into European competition.

Champions League

Craig Bellamy of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring the winning goal during the UEFA Champions League First Phase Group E match against Feyenoord. (Getty Images)Craig Bellamy of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring the winning goal during the UEFA Champions League First Phase Group E match against Feyenoord. (Getty Images)
Craig Bellamy of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring the winning goal during the UEFA Champions League First Phase Group E match against Feyenoord. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Now for the big one! Those memories of Bellamy at Feyenoord, Shearer in Milan and Tino Asprilla’s hat-trick against Barcelona can come flooding back if United qualify for the Champions League for the first time in two decades. To do so they would have to end the Premier League season sat in the top four. A fifth English club can also qualify by winning either this season’s Champions League or Europa League while also finishing outside of the top four.

There is a scenario where even the team who finished fourth in the Premier League could miss out on the Champions League if English clubs won both the Champions League and Europa League but neither of those clubs finished in the top four. However that is highly unlikely this season with only Manchester City still in the Champions League and Manchester United still in the Europa League.

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