Premier League top four permutations: What each team needs as Liverpool take control of Champions League race, Chelsea get boost but Leicester could miss out and Tottenham battle West Ham for sixth

We are set for a thrilling end to the 2020/21 Premier League season as there is still a lot to be decided at the top of the table.

Manchester City have been crowned champions while Sheffield United, West Brom and Fulham have already been relegated.

The Premier League race for European football is heating up ahead of the last two games
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But the race for the European places is heating up nicely as teams head into their final games and it is set to go right down to the wire. 

Here’s what is on the line this week and what could get resolved…

Premier League permutations 

Man City have been crowned champions and so have secured their place in the Champions League next season. They will face Chelsea in the final of this year’s elite European competition on May 29.

Likewise, Manchester United will finish second despite only managing a draw at home to Fulham. The Red Devils will then face Villarreal in the Europa League final on May 26.

Bruno Fernandes has been key in United’s top four finish

The top four teams in the Premier League will qualify for the group stages of the Champions League while winning either of Europe’s tournaments will also secure a place in the group phase.

A maximum of five English teams can play in the Champions League.

While City and United are already in, Chelsea winning the Champions League but finishing fifth would see England’s five team quota fulfilled.

Premier League fixtures on talkSPORT

Wednesday, May 19, 18:00 – Tottenham v Aston Villa – talkSPORT 2 EXCLUSIVE

Wednesday, May 19, 18:00 – Newcastle v Sheffield United – talkSPORT APP EXCLUSIVE

Wednesday, May 19, 19:00 – Crystal Palace v Arsenal – talkSPORT APP EXCLUSIVE

Wednesday, May 19, 20:15 – Burnley v Liverpool – talkSPORT EXCLUSIVE

The Blues, Leicester and Liverpool are in the mix to finish in the top four while Tottenham and West Ham are no longer in contention.

There is then the matter of the Europa League qualification and for the new Europa Conference League.

The fifth-placed team and winners of the FA Cup will qualify for the group stage proper of the Europa League.

Leicester beat Chelsea in the final last weekend and if both finish in the top four, the Europa League spot will go to the next highest-ranked side which has not qualified for a UEFA competition.

The Europa Conference League spot goes to the EFL Cup winners. As Man City won that trophy, their spot will again go to the next highest-ranked team which has not qualified for a UEFA competition.

That means the top seven clubs in the Premier League are set to secure European football next season. Here’s what could happen…


67 points, 37 games – Remaining games: Aston Villa (away)

Beaten FA Cup finalists Chelsea took a huge step towards securing a top-four finish by beating Leicester 2-1 on Tuesday.

A win over Aston Villa on the last day will confirm it but a point will be enough if Leicester fail to beat Tottenham.

Should they lose on Sunday and both Leicester and Liverpool win their remaining games, Thomas Tuchel’s team will have to settle for a Europa League place.

The Blues could, however, then secure Champions League football if they beat Man City in the final of this season’s tournament later this month.


66 points, 37 games – Remaining games: Tottenham (home)

Leicester secured European football over the weekend by claiming glory at Wembley in the FA Cup.

They were also in the driving seat to finish third but suffered a damaging defeat to Chelsea.

A top-four finish is now out of their hands and they must better Chelsea’s result on Sunday.

Should Chelsea and Leicester win on the final day and Liverpool claim maximum points as well, the Foxes will need to secure a better goal difference than the Reds to clinch Champions League football.

Leicester lifted the FA Cup for the first time ever at the weekend


63 points, 36 games – Remaining games: Burnley (away), Crystal Palace (home)

Goalkeeper Alisson’s remarkable winner against West Brom has ensured Liverpool are right in the mix for a top-four finish.

Chelsea and Leicester cannot both finish the season with more than 69 points which is the maximum Liverpool can achieve.

The Reds have an inviting end to the season and two wins from two will be enough to finish fourth if Leicester fail to beat Spurs. 

There is also a very real possibility of goal difference deciding who finishes fourth.

If Chelsea win their final game they will finish on 70 points and in third. A win for Leicester over Tottenham on the final day and Liverpool winning their remaining two games, they will be on 69 each and goal difference will be used.

As it stands, Liverpool are on +21 and Leicester are on +20.

Should Liverpool fail to finish in the top four, a Europa League place beckons but a huge swing of results could see them drop into the Europa Conference League spot in seventh.

Alisson’s stunning winner of West Brom has kept Liverpool in the hunt for a Champions League place


59 points, 36 games – Remaining Spurs games: Aston Villa (home), Leicester (away)

Chelsea’s win over Leicester means Tottenham can no longer finish fourth.

Spurs will have to settle for a Europa League place and two wins in their final two games will confirm that.

Tottenham face Leicester on the final day in another key game.

The north Londoners could yet slip into the Europa Conference League place in seventh and are currently only ahead of West Ham on goal difference.

Tottenham are looking to finish as high as possible this season

West Ham

59 points, 36 games – Remaining games: West Brom (away), Southampton (home)

The Hammers will need to better Spurs’ results to claim a Europa League spot.

The Irons will also be concerned of missing out on European football completely with Everton, Arsenal and Leeds United all capable of catching them in the final two games.

Leeds United

56 points, 37 games – Remaining games: West Brom (home)

Leeds have won three on the bounce to keep their faint hopes of Europe alive.

They must win their remaining match and then need a near-impossible swing in results to go their way.


56 points, 36 games – Remaining games: Wolves (home), Man City (away)

Everton are out of contention for a finish in the top five but could yet secure qualification for the Europa League or Europa Conference League.

The Toffees will need to better the results of West Ham and / or Tottenham to break into the European places.


55 points, 36 games – Remaining games: Crystal Palace (away), Brighton (home)

Like Everton, Arsenal are fighting for sixth or seventh.

They must better what Tottenham, West Ham and Everton do to have any chance of claiming European football next season.