Does fifth get Champions League football if Man City win in Europe this season? Liverpool, Man United and Newcastle in top four tussle
Manchester City are just two wins away from finally winning the Champions League.
The Citizens battled to a 1-1 draw against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu last week and are favourites to progress from the second leg.
Pep Guardiola’s side know victory on home soil over the 14-time European champions – live on talkSPORT – will put them on the brink of Euro glory themselves with either AC Milan or Inter awaiting in the final.
City’s points tally in the Premier League means their appearance in next season’s Champions League is already assured regardless.
But should they finally win the competition then they enter the 2023/24 campaign in the slot reserved for the current holders.
So with the Premier League top four teams normally qualifying for the Champions League, should the side that finishes fifth be keeping an eye on City’s progress?
Will fifth place qualify if Man City win the Champions League?
To put it simply for Newcastle, Manchester United, Liverpool or Brighton, no they won’t.
As mentioned, City would qualify for next season’s Champions League as reigning champions should they lift the trophy in June’s final.
However, the club’s qualification spot that they earned through their Premier League position would then not be passed down.
Instead, City’s domestic qualification would be transferred to the champions of the highest-ranked national league in the UEFA coefficient table from the end of the 2021-22 season who don’t already occupy an automatic place in the group stage.
Ordinarily, this would be the country ranked 11th – Serbia – who would be put directly in the group stage, rather than having to qualify.
But Russia are currently ranked 10th and UEFA have already banned all of its clubs from European competition following the invasion of Ukraine.
And ironically this means that the champions of the 12th-ranked country will get a bye if Man CIty win the Champions League – that just so happens to be Ukraine!
UEFA rules do allow for five English teams to be in the Champions League in a single season.
The only way that would happen is if Man City were the team that finished fifth but then also went onto win the competition.
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