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Premier League to retain fourth Champions League berth

The departure of Roma, Juventus and Lazio from European competition means that England's Premier League is set to retain four UEFA Champions League slots for 2017/18.

Manchester City have played a part in keeping England in the top three
Manchester City have played a part in keeping England in the top three ©AFP/Getty Images

The departure of Roma, Juventus and Lazio from European competition over the last fortnight means that England's Premier League is provisionally set to retain third place in the UEFA association club coefficient rankings to ensure four UEFA Champions League berths in 2017/18 (three automatic group stage and one qualifying place).

The associations' positions in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League access list are determined on the basis of the associations' coefficients established at the finish of the 2015/16 campaign, on the basis of the associations' coefficients from seasons 2011/12 to 2015/16.

Following last season's rankings, which decided the allocations for 2016/17, England were second behind Spain and ahead of Germany in the table, calculated over a five-year period, ensuring this season's Liga, Premier League and Bundesliga each have the four UEFA Champions League slots. However, the 2010/11 campaign, which was especially good for England and weak for fourth-placed Italy, is dropping out of the reckoning, meaning Serie A began 2015/16 just three points behind England, the Bundesliga overtaking the Premier League.

Juventus bow out
Juventus bow out

That meant England's teams needed a better season than Italy's to keep their fourth-berth status and they have maintained an edge throughout. Following Manchester City and Liverpool's respective progress to quarter-finals, they have picked up 12.750 points this term to Italy's 11.500, with no possibility remaining for any Serie A sides to add to that tally, leaving them trailing the Premier League 74.784 to 70.439.

Meanwhile at the top, Spain have managed to get six of their teams into the club quarter-finals and have now taken their overall country coefficient to 100.713, the first time ever that any league has registered a three-figure total. Germany are on 78.891 in second place.

However, Russia's bid to replace either France or Portugal in the top six, so earning a second automatic UEFA Champions League group berth and third overall for 2017/18, has been thwarted. Hopes were pinned on Zenit overturning their deficit against Benfica but instead two late Portuguese goals not only confirmed Russia outside the top six for another season, they also helped lift Portugal ahead of France into provisional fifth spot.

Sparta oust Lazio
Sparta oust Lazio

Another key cut-off point is 12th position, which has carried an automatic UEFA Champions League group slot. And the Czech Republic could well replace Switzerland among the leading dozen after Sparta Praha beat Lazio to reach the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals while Basel lost to Sevilla. The Czech Republic have not been in the top 12 since 2004/05 yet their tally in 13th is currently 32.935 to Switzerland's 33.775

In the club rankings, Real Madrid's continue to lead second-placed Bayern München by more than ten points, with Barcelona now just 0.636 off the top two, which they could have entered had Juve held on in their second leg in Munich. Atlético de Madrid are now clear of Chelsea in fourth and Borussia Dortmund have overtaken Juventus for eighth. Sparta are 53rd, a 19-place improvement so far this term.

FOR REFERENCE: the access list that will be used for allocation to the 2016/17 club competitions is based on the association club coefficient rankings at the end of 2014/15 (taking into account the season's 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15). The rankings including 2015/16 results will be used to decide allocations in 2017/18.

Seedings for UEFA national team competitions are decided by the UEFA National Team Coefficient Ranking: the latest version was released on 9 September and has been used to seed the UEFA European Championship final tournament draw.