Why Premier League top 4 finish may not result in Champions League qualification
After Friday's European draws, Chelsea look to be in the box seat to trigger a series of events that would deny the team finishing fourth in the Premier League this season a spot in next season's Champions League.
It remains hugely unlikely of course, but a scenario could unfold which sees five English teams playing in Europe's premier competition next season, but not the side who come in the traditional final qualifying place.
Chelsea, currently sixth in the Premier League, have been given a kind Europa League quarter-final draw against Czech outfit Slavia Prague.
And if they win that competition then they'll qualify for the Champions League regardless of their league position.
And in addition, if Chelsea also finish in their current sixth position and either Manchester United or Tottenham win the Champions League while finishing fifth (with the other coming in the top four) then that would leave Arsenal in fourth, but denied a spot in the 2019/20 Champions League.
The same would be true if the Gunners - who face Napoli in the Europa League - win that competition and come fifth or sixth, with another English team winning the Champions League and finishing outside of the top four.
That would likely leave Chelsea in fourth, but not in next season's Champions League.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTER-FINAL DRAW IN FULL:
Ajax vs Juventus
Liverpool vs Porto
Tottenham vs Manchester City
Barcelona vs Manchester United
EUROPA LEAGUE QUARTER-FINAL DRAW IN FULL:
Arsenal vs Napoli
Villarreal vs Valencia
Benfica vs Eintracht Frankfurt
Slavia Prague vs Chelsea
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