The Premier League faces an uphill battle to now gain five places in next season’s UEFA Champions League (UCL). The competition is set to undergo a drastic overhaul next summer and will feature an extra four teams. UEFA is getting rid of the group stage of the tournament for the 2024/25 campaign. Instead, the competition is set to feature all 36 clubs in one large league.

One of these extra Champions League places will be determined through the qualifying path of the initial phase of the tournament. Another will come from the third-placed team in the league ranked fifth in the UEFA coefficient. Last season this was France’s Ligue 1, although the Dutch Eredivisie could also grab this position.

The remaining two places will come from the top two domestic leagues across the continent. Liverpool and Atalanta would have earned spots in the competition for the 2023/24 season due to the Premier League and Serie A successes.

England drops in UEFA rankings with two teams in UCL knockouts

Nevertheless, England’s top flight has since fallen in the UEFA coefficient in recent days. This is down to the league only having two clubs qualify for the Champions League knockout stage. Arsenal and Manchester City both booked their places in the next phase by winning their respective groups.

Manchester United and Newcastle United, however, finished bottom of their Champions League groups this season. Neither team even managed to qualify for the Europa League by grabbing a third-place spot in their tables. As a result, England has since dropped to third in the official rankings.

Current UEFA coefficient rankings (top two nations get extra UCL spot):

  1. Germany – 13.36
  2. Italy – 13.14
  3. England – 12.13
  4. Spain – 12.06
  5. France – 10.42

Germany has held the top spot due to the current successes of Bundesliga sides. Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and RB Leipzig all qualified for the Champions League knockout phase. Bayer Leverkusen, Freiburg, and Eintracht Frankfurt are all also doing well in the other UEFA competitions as well.

Italian clubs are also advancing through their European tournaments. Inter Milan, Lazio, and Napoli are through to the Champions League round of 16. AC Milan, by beating Newcastle, advanced to the Europa League where they will be joined by Roma and Atalanta. Fiorentina is also through to the Europa Conference League.

Manchester United, Newcastle may have to root for rivals in Europe

The disappointing European displays by Manchester United and Newcastle not only ruined their chances at Champions League glory this season, but it may affect their chances in 2024/25. The two teams are currently sixth and seventh respectively in the Premier League standings. One of these clubs could very well end up in fifth place in the final table.

Assuming neither side grabs a top-four Premier League place, they will not be featuring in next season’s Champions League. One potential savior for a fifth-placed Premier League team is European success of Arsenal and City. As long as the two teams can continue advancing in the Champions League this season, it will leave the door slightly open for England to grab a top two UEFA coefficient ranking.

England also has two teams remaining in the Europa League and one in the Europa Conference. Liverpool, Brighton and Hove Albion and West Ham are both through to the second-tiered tournament’s knockouts, while Aston Villa features in the Europa Conference.