Liverpool or Manchester United: Who will qualify for the UEFA Champions League this year?
As the race for the title is over, the teams are now fighting for a spot to play in the intra-continental European leagues, especially in the UEFA Champions League.
The 2022–23 football season is coming to an end, and most of the domestic leagues across Europe have found their league champions. SSC Napoli won the Seria A in Italy, FC Barcelona won La Liga in Spain, and Manchester City won the Premier League for the third successive season in England, but a lot remains to be played with respect to Champions League spots for the next season. As the race for the title is over, the teams are now fighting for a spot to play in the intra-continental European leagues, especially in the UEFA Champions League.
In the English Premier League (EPL), Manchester United and Liverpool both have a shot at making it through to the UCL. Manchester United hasn't been the same club since long-serving manager Sir Alex Ferguson's tenure ended, and the club has been struggling to get back to its days of glory. But United's current manager, Erik Ten Hag, has done a decent job in his debut season with the club. He helped them win the Carabao Cup, which is United's first silverware since winning the Europa League back in 2017. Besides, United is also in the FA Cup final, in which they will be going against Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on June 3.
Liverpool, on the other hand, has been successful in recent years under their current manager, Jurgen Klopp, but this season it has turned upside down for them on many occasions. They have not been the club they used to be, and it has been a rollercoaster ride for them with a lot of great highs and huge lows. But they did turn it around and now have a spot to participate in Europe and a slight chance of getting into the UEFA Champions League
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Who will qualify for the UEFA Champions League 2023-24? Current points tally
According to the current Premier League table, Manchester United is now in 4th place, while Liverpool is in the 5th spot. United has a total of 69 points after playing 36 games, and Liverpool has 66 points after playing 37 games. Liverpool has just one game left, whereas United has two games left to play this season in the league.
Who will qualify for the UEFA Champions League: Remaining matches or fixtures ahead
Manchester United will be playing both of their remaining games on their home turf at Old Trafford. Their remaining fixtures are with 12th-place Chelsea on June 26 and 10th-place Fulham on June 28.
On the other hand, Liverpool will be travelling to Saint Mary's Stadium for their last fixture, where they will face already relegated Southampton FC, which will be played on June 28th.
Who will qualify for the UEFA Champions League: Best-case scenario
Looking at the league table and what matches are left for each team, it will take a miracle for Liverpool to qualify for the Champions League. Manchester United just needs one point from a possible six to qualify.
Liverpool, on the other hand, has to win their last match and hope that Manchester United loses the last two games for them to qualify for the Champions League on goal difference.
Who will qualify for the UEFA Champions League: Liverpool or Manchester United? Who is likely to qualify?
The most likely team to qualify for the Champions League will be Manchester United. They just need a draw in one of the two games to book the spot, and no other Premier League fixture has been drawn as often as Chelsea against United. Besides, United has managed to win against Fulham twice this season — once in the league and in the FA Cup quarter finals for the second time and it is expected to be an easy task for the United side to beat them.
Will the fifth spot rule help Liverpool qualify for the UCL?
Manchester City has already qualified for the Champions League after finishing in the top four this season. On the other hand, City will be playing in this season's Champions League final against Inter Milan, and if they manage to win it, they will automatically qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage next season.
Unfortunately for Liverpool, this does not guarantee that their original position will be passed down to the side that finishes fifth.
Instead, the champion of the highest-ranked national league in the UEFA coefficient without an automatic group-stage qualifying position receives the spare qualification spot. This means that the winners of the Ukrainian Premier League—currently led by Shakhtar Donetsk—would automatically qualify for the Champions League without having to play any qualifying games.
Meanwhile, the Premier League club finishing fifth will automatically qualify for the Europa League group stages.