England Could Lose 4th Champions League Spot As Serie A Sides Close In On Premier League Flops
England could lose its fourth Champions League spot to Italy if Premier League clubs fail to turn around their European form. Italy is closing in on England’s coefficient score – the rating UEFA use to award Champions League places – in their latest figures.
And if Serie A clubs significantly outperform England’s again this season and overtake them in the UEFA rankings only three Champions League spots will be up for grabs in the Premier League for the 2017/18 competition.
Coefficient points are based on each country’s results in the Champions League and Europa League and the countries with the three highest totals get four spots while the fourth gets three.
And the Premier League is facing a battle to hang onto it’s four places due to English clubs’ declining performances in recent years.
No English team reached the quarter-finals of either the Champions League or Europa League last season. That has allowed Italy, who had Juventus in the Champions League final and two teams in the Europa League semis, to close the gap.
The latest rankings also reflect the fact that only Chelsea and Tottenham, out of six English teams, won their opening European games this season.
England’s current ranking is 65.659 compared to Italy’s 61.605.
England’s total is boosted by a bonus for having four clubs in the Champions League but the rest of this season’s ranking points will be awarded purely for results in both tournaments.
England were second only behind Spain and ahead of Germany in the rankings.
But with the totals worked out over a previous five seasons, the 2010/11 season – a good one for the Premier League and bad one for Serie A – is no longer included and has allowed Germany to already leapfrog England this season.