There is just one match left of the 2022/23 Premier League season and Liverpool’s chances of finishing in the top four are now incredibly slim. But with Manchester City in with a chance of winning their first ever Champions League title, the question over next season’s qualification has been raised.
Many are wondering, will fifth place in the Premier League earn a place in the Champions League? Have Liverpool already done enough without breaking into the top four? Let’s take a look at how it works.
Will Liverpool get Champions League football by finishing fifth?
Unfortunately for Liverpool fans, the answer is no. This season, the ‘fifth place rule’ is not applicable, despite many queries over what will happen if Manchester City win this season’s Champions League.
In fact, it is rare a fifth team from the same country qualifies for the tournament — the only way this can happen is if a club won the Europa League or Champions League, but did not finish in the top four in their respective day-to-day league.
As winners of the 2022/23 Premier League, Pep Guardiola’s side have already qualified for the top bracket of European football, but if they also triumph over Inter Milan, their spot will not be passed down. Instead, the team who wins the highest-ranked national league in the UEFA coefficient, without automatically qualifying, will be given the slot.
Can Liverpool still qualify for the Champions League?
After their draw against Aston Villa at Anfield, the odds are heavily against Liverpool but it’s not impossible. However, they will need Manchester United to help them out.
In fact, the only way the Reds will make top four now is if they beat Southampton, and Erik ten Hag’s side lose both of their remaining fixtures. This would put the two teams level on points but the Merseyside outfit would sneak through on goal difference.
It’s a very tall ask though, and one that is quite unlikely to happen, but stranger things have happened in the Premier League and there is still time for a last minute twist in this already dramatic tale.