Europa Conference League explained with Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham in European contention
London’s European representatives are all in good positions to progress in this year’s continental competitions but from next season the structure of UEFA’s competitions and the qualification process will have a very different look.
Chelsea are leading Atletico Madrid 1-0 ahead of their Champions League last-16 second leg and both Tottenham and Arsenal have the upper hand in their Europa League last-16 ties with all three favorites to progress through to the quarter-finals in their respective competitions.
On the domestic front Arsenal are lagging behind their traditional London rivals and the surprise package of the season West Ham have put themselves in an excellent position to challenge for European football.
In fact, with the Hammers sitting just two points behind Chelsea and with a game in hand over the team in fourth, David Moyes’ club have a strong case for currently being the top team in London.
With the Premier League and domestic cup competitions reaching the business end, fan’s eyes are naturally being drawn to next season and what. if any, European football their club may be involved in.
Currently, England’s representative in the Europa Conference League is set to be the winner of the League Cup, the final of which is to be contested by Manchester City and Tottenham on April, 25th.
No teams qualify directly for the Europa Conference League group stage with the League Cup winners missing the qualification rounds and starting in the final play-off phase.
But if the League Cup winners qualify for Europe via their final league position, then the team that finishes in sixth will drop from their Europa League spot to the Europa Conference League play-off round.
However, that play-off spot will move to the Premier League’s seventh-placed team if a top-six club wins the FA Cup.
Arsenal player ratings vs Olympiacos as Tierney and Odegaard save Leno’s blushes
Bernd Leno: Was guilty of playing the ball out to the back when it wasn’t on against Burnley and made the same mistake tonight. Got away with it in the first half but wasn’t so lucky in the second. He clearly hasn’t learned from his mistakes. 4.
Hector Bellerin: Got beyond Bukayo Saka well which is something we’ve not seen enough from him recently. Also put in good delivery when he got into those key areas. Justified the unpopular decision to select him over Cedric. 7.
David Luiz: The Brazilian is normally so assured on the ball, but Arsenal’s playing out from the back problem seems to have spread to him too. Just about got away with a mistake in the first half and wasn’t exactly confidence-inspiring after that. 5.
Gabriel: Was partly at fault for the goal in the first half but more than made up for it with a tremendous header to win it on the night. The Brazilian is a fighter and more than proved it with a massive goal in Arsenal’s season. 7.
Kieran Tierney: Defensively solid while getting forward and providing his usual attacking threat. Created the Gunners best chances in the first half and has created more opportunities than any Arsenal player this season from open play. 8.
Thomas Partey: A decent performance from the Ghanaian who continues to make his way back from injury. Only last 55 minutes which is perhaps a sign that Arsenal are looking to keep him fit for the North London Derby. 6.
Willian: Carried the ball forward with purpose and linked well with Tierney when cutting inside. The Brazilian looks to be playing with more confidence and now has four assists in his last four matches. 7.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: Struggled to really get into the game aside from a headed chance that forced an excellent save from Jose Sa. Will have to wait till the second leg to get his revenge after last year. 6.