ARSENAL are set to be denied a plucky Champions League place in next season’s competition with Uefa reportedly opting for a points-based system.
The Gunners had received a lifeline when Uefa considered using their coefficient rankings to determine who would play in the tournament in 2020/21.
Despite being ninth in the Premier League, their performances in Europe over the last five seasons would put them above Chelsea, who are fourth in the league, in Uefa’s system.
But according to The Times, Uefa are set to announce that in the event of league campaigns not being completed this term, qualification for the Champions League and Europa League would be on sporting merit.
And that is expected to mean an average of points per game in the respective leagues this season.
In England, that would mean Liverpool, Leicester City, Chelsea and Manchester United take the Champions League spots with Manchester City banned.
Liverpool have averaged a staggering 2.83 points per game with Leicester on 1.83, Chelsea on 1.66 and United on 1.55, narrowly pipping Sheffield United – two points behind in table having played one game less – on 1.54.
That would see the Blades qualify for the Europa League alongside Wolves (1.48).
However, there is some good news for Arsenal as it would be the Gunners who claimed the third Europa League spot with 1.43 points per game, 40 from 28 games, even though North London rivals Tottenham – 41 from 29 at 1.41 – are ahead of them in the Premier League.
For the Champions League, 26 teams qualify for the group stages automatically each season with the remaining six slots made up by the play-offs.
England, Spain, Germany and Italy are the only countries to get four spots.
In Spain, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Sevilla would be joined by fourth-placed Real Sociedad with Atletico Madrid dropping out if coefficient is ignored.
From the Bundesliga, RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach join Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund as Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke omitted.
And the situation is similar in Italy where the top four of Juventus, Lazio, Inter Milan and Atalanta are in with Roma and Napoli left out.
Who would qualify for CL automatically based on points per game?
Liverpool, Leicester City, Chelsea, Manchester United
Barcelona, Real Madrid, Sevilla, Real Sociedad
Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Borussia Monchengladbach
Juventus, Lazio, Inter Milan, Atalanta
Paris Saint-Germain, Marseille, Rennes
Zenit St Petersburg, Lokomotiv Moscow