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Liverpool can give West Ham a huge European boost by making Carabao Cup final

Liverpool can give West Ham a huge European boost by beating Arsenal and making the Carabao Cup final tonight.

West Ham are competing with the likes of Arsenal, Spurs and Manchester United for a place in the top four this season.

Hammers hopes took a blow when the home defeat to Leeds opened the door for all three clubs to potentially leapfrog David Moyes’s men this weekend.

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Man City, Liverpool and – once they get back into top gear – Chelsea look a class apart from everyone else this season and most fans and pundits believe they will comfortably make up the top three.

West Ham fans will be hoping some smart January business can see them sustain a top four push, starting with the visit to Man United this weekend.

If it does not work out in the league for West Ham, they are just three ties from the Europa League final. And winning that competition would mean automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League.

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Liverpool can give West Ham a huge European boost by making Carabao Cup final

Given how much the Hammers have enjoyed their Europa League adventure this season, if the east Londoners end up in that competition again next term it would still be a big success.

In reality – regardless of how much West Ham fans may have ribbed rivals Spurs over it – even qualification for the new Europa Conference League would be deemed a success from where the Hammers were when Moyes took over just two years ago.

Only one Premier League spot – fifth – is designated for a Europa League place with the FA Cup winners getting the other.

West Ham in the Europa League draw

Liverpool beating Arsenal to set up a Carabao Cup final against Chelsea – with both looking nailed on for top five – and the FA Cup winners finishing in the top five – as is more often the case than not – would, like last season, push the European spots down to seventh place.

Here’s how it all works.

UEFA Europa League (UEL) qualification

In normal circumstances, two UEL places are given to English clubs who fulfil the following criteria:

  • The fifth-placed team in the Premier League qualify for the group stage proper.
  • The winners of the FA Cup qualify for the group stage proper.
UEFA Europa Conference League (UECL) qualification
  • The EFL Cup winners qualify for the playoff stages.
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Where these qualifications changes

a) If the FA Cup winners finish in the top five of the Premier League, their UEL group stage place will go to the next-highest ranked team not qualified for UEFA competitions in the Premier League.

b) If the EFL Cup winners finish in the top five of the Premier League (or top six if (a) happens), their UECL playoff place will go to the next-highest ranked team not qualified for UEFA competitions in the Premier League.

How does winning UCL/UEL affect qualification?

Should a Premier League club win the UEFA Champions League they will automatically qualify for the group stage of next season’s competition regardless of their league finishing position.

Should a Premier League club win the UEFA Europa League they will automatically qualify for the group stage of next season’s UEFA Champions League regardless of their league finishing position.

If a club win the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League and finish in the top four, their qualification for the UCL through their league position is not transferred to another team.  

A maximum of five Premier League teams are eligible for UEFA Champions League qualification.

In the event that a Premier League club win the UEFA Champions League and another win the UEFA Europa League and neither of these clubs finish in the top four of the Premier League, the club lying fourth in the table will drop into the UEFA Europa League group stage.

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If a Premier League club win the UEFA Champions League and another win the UEFA Europa League and neither have qualified for UEFA competitions through their league positions or by winning the FA Cup or EFL Cup, they will qualify for the UEFA Champions League and the club finishing fourth in the table will drop into the UEFA Europa League group stage. 

This UEFA Europa League group stage place will be in addition to the one for the club finishing fifth and to the places in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League for the FA Cup and EFL Cup winners (or for the highest-ranked clubs not qualified for UEFA competitions in the Premier League if the FA Cup and EFL Cup winners have already qualified for UEFA competitions through their league position).

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