The Premier League might create history next season by fielding EIGHT clubs in Europe.
This season, as English clubs compete for glory in the Champions League, Europa League, and the newly formed Conference League, a variety of results remain possible.
As we near the close of another fascinating campaign, LiveScore keeps an eye on the permutations.
How many Premier League teams are eligible to compete in the Champions League?
As is customary, the top four teams in the Premier League will automatically qualify for the Champions League group round.
The Europa League champions are also eligible for the Champions League.
So, if West Ham wins their first continental crown in 42 years, five English teams will compete in Europe’s top league next season.
The Hammers advanced to the Europa League semi-finals after defeating Lyon 4-1 on aggregate. They will meet Eintracht Frankfurt this week, while Rangers will face RB Leipzig in the other semi-final.
The fifth and sixth-placed teams in the Premier League will qualify for the Europa League group stage.
The champions of the Europa Conference League are also given a place in the Europa League, which means that semi-finalists Leicester maybe the third team representing England in the league next season.
The Foxes are now tenth in the Premier League and a long way from the top seven, which means that if they win the Conference League, they will be handed an extra European spot.
What is the maximum number of Premier League teams that can qualify for the Europa Conference League?
The Premier League team that finishes seventh automatically qualifies for the Europa Conference League.
However, if Leicester becomes the first-ever winner and West Ham wins the Europa League, there may be no English representation in the third-tier competition next season.
The Hammers are now seventh in the Premier League and will qualify for the Conference League if they stay there and their Europa League campaign ends in failure.
Winners of the FA Cup
Because Crystal Palace was knocked out of the FA Cup by Chelsea, the team that finishes sixth — now Manchester United — will automatically qualify for the Europa League.
If Palace had gone on to win the Cup, they would have qualified for the Europa League instead of the team in sixth place, who would have received Europa Conference League qualification instead.
The most likely scenario
If Leicester and West Ham are successful in their separate European campaigns, seven English teams will be present in Europe next season.
However, if the Hammers finish lower than seventh but win the Europa League — and Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes win the Conference League — eight English teams would compete in Europe for the first time in 2022-23.
‘There are no words!’ – Vinicius after being blown away by Benzema after scoring twice at Manchester City.
Vinicius Junior claims “there are no words” to describe Karim Benzema’s form as he predicts his Real Madrid teammate will win the Ballon d’Or this year.
Benzema scored twice in Real Madrid’s 4-3 loss to Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
The first was a tricky twisting finish to bring Madrid back into the game after falling behind 2-0, and the second was a calm Panenka penalty late in the game to keep the tie alive.
He now has 41 goals in as many games for Los Blancos this season, which is only surpassed by Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski (48 in 43) among Europe’s top five leagues.
After Cristiano Ronaldo, Ferenc Puskas, Alfredo Di Stefano, and Hugo Sanchez, the 34-year-old became the fifth Madrid player to score more than 40 goals in a single season.
Benzema also tops the Champions League scoring records this season with 14, one more than Lewandowski, whose Bayern Munich team was eliminated in the quarter-finals by Villarreal.
Vinicius believes Benzema should win the Ballon d’Or in 2022, despite finishing behind Lionel Messi, Lewandowski, and Jorginho last year.
“There are no words to describe Benzema’s performance,” Vinicius stated. “He is deserving of the Ballon d’Or.
“I hope my brother Benzema wins La Liga, the Champions League, and the Ballon d’Or.”
Benzema scored a hat-trick in the second leg of the last-16 triumph over PSG and another treble in the first leg of the quarter-final win against Chelsea.
Only once in a single Champions League season has he scored more than nine goals in the knockout stages, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring ten in the 2016-17 season?
Vinicius is not alone in his support for Benzema, with former teammate Mesut Ozil tweeting on Tuesday, “Give my boy Benzi the Ballon D’Or.”
Rio Ferdinand, an ex-Manchester United defender, concurred with the judgment, citing the tweet and adding the word “Facts.”
Ferdinand’s post was liked by Benzema, whose chances of being named the world’s best player could be boosted if France wins the World Cup in December.
Rather than basking in his spectacular form, the prolific striker acknowledges that his team still has a lot of work to do if they want to move further in this season’s competition.
“A defeat is never pleasant, but we are enthusiastic about this Champions League, and the most important thing is that we never give up,” he told Movistar+.
“We have to go to the Bernabeu now, and we need the fans to do something wonderful, which is to win.
“We went into the game lacking confidence, which is what happens when you play a team like Manchester City. A little bit of everything was missing in this game.”
Casemiro will play the second leg of the semi-finals, according to Ancelotti.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has all but confirmed that Casemiro will play in the second leg of his team’s Champions League semi-final against Manchester City.
With Toni Kroos in his place, the 30-year-old was badly missed in the base of midfield for Los Blancos, who lost the first leg 4-3 on Tuesday, lacking both defensive stability and flexible positioning off the ball in possession.
Due to muscular issues, the Brazilian was an unused replacement in their 3-1 triumph over Osasuna last Thursday. Meanwhile, David Alaba was substituted at halftime in favor of Nacho in the center of defense.
Ancelotti is confident that the midfield lynchpin will play in the return leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, but he is less convinced about Alaba.
“Casemiro [will play], without a doubt,” he stated. “We’ll have to assess Alaba. He felt the discomfort of recent times, so I stopped him to avoid issues. I believe they will be ready for the second leg.”
City was the better team on Tuesday, and they got off to a fast start, scoring two goals in the first 11 minutes.
Real Madrid managed to stay in the tie and minimize the damage with a Karim Benzema brace and a particularly crucial solo strike from Vinicius to make it 3-2.
According to Ancelotti, a place in the May final is still available but only provided they do not throw it away first.
“It’s impossible for us to imagine another game like today’s in the second leg,” he remarked. “The city has an advantage, which we must consider while keeping in mind that it is not a significant one. We will battle for another magnificent night.
“We got off to a shaky start. We’ve given up two goals, but we’ve shown a great deal of resilience in recent weeks.
“We competed to the finish of the game. We need to improve our defense, but we did well with the ball, creating numerous possibilities. We must improve our defense in the second leg because it is critical.”