Crystal Palace could stop Premier League rivals West Ham, Manchester United or Antonio Conte’s Spurs from getting into the Europa League.
David Moyes’s side know that winning the Europa League will be rewarded with a place in next season’s Champions League group stage.
And a top four finish would also seal a place in the Champions League.
Arsenal are currently in possession of fourth spot and following West Ham’s defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, that fight now looks between the north London rivals and Manchester United.
Europa League would still be a fantastic achievement for West Ham and acts as something of a safety net for Spurs and Man United too.
In the battle for potentially four European spots between five clubs – West Ham, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham and Wolves – only one team might miss out.
Ordinarily, the maximum number of English teams in UEFA competitions is seven. Four in the Champions League, two now in the Europa League West Ham fans have enjoyed so much and one in the Europa Conference League.
As reported by Hammers News, talk that European places could extend as far down as eighth or ninth are a nonsense.
But Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace could stop West Ham, Manchester United or Spurs getting into the Europa League.
Crystal Palace could stop West Ham, Manchester United or Antonio Conte’s Spurs getting into the Europa League
Liverpool winning the Carabao Cup (EFL Cup) means their place in the Europa Conference League will be pushed down the league.
So West Ham, Man United and Tottenham need one of Chelsea, Liverpool or Man City to win the FA Cup. The winners of the FA Cup qualify for the Europa League group stages. So should a top five club win the FA Cup that place will also be pushed down the league.
That would result in fifth – which is already a Europa League place – AND sixth place in the Premier League table being rewarded with Europa League and seventh getting a Conference League spot.
If Leicester won the Conference League – which is a distinct possibility – they would be an additional team in the Europa League next season.
Chelsea, Man City or Liverpool winning the FA Cup is still a distinct possibility. At least one of those sides are guaranteed to be in the final as Liverpool play Man City in one of the semi-finals.
But Palace could stop whoever finishes sixth out of West Ham, Man United or Spurs getting into the Europa League if they upset the odds and win the FA Cup themselves to take the Europa spot.
Palace play Chelsea in the other semi-final. And given the Eagles have proved they can beat anyone on their day, it should concern the Hammers, Spurs and Man United.
Chelsea will be favourites of course. But with everything going on around the Blues and the uncertainty over whether their fans will be allowed to attend the game against Palace at Wembley, it could play into the south London club’s hands.
Even if Palace made the final, Liverpool or City would be clear favourites.
And while it would be nice to see someone outside the so-called “Big Six” win a trophy, for selfish reasons West Ham, Man United and Spurs will be hoping otherwise.