BRAVE Newcastle are looking to cement their spot in next season’s Champions League.

Eddie Howe’s Toon Army have enjoyed a stunning campaign following last year’s Saudi takeover.

Newcastle could finish fourth and still miss out on the Champions League


Newcastle could finish fourth and still miss out on the Champions LeagueCredit: Getty

And fans are dreaming of competing with giants like Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in Europe’s top competition.

But even if Newcastle finish fourth this season, they could yet be denied their spot in the Champions League.

And they will have Manchester United and Chelsea to blame.

Uefa rules allow for a maximum of five teams from the same nation to play in the Champions League.

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Chelsea remain in the hunt for a third European crown.

Meanwhile, United are hoping to go all the way in the Europa League having already pipped Newcastle to the Carabao Cup.

Should Toon finish fourth, and both rivals finish outside the top four while winning their continental competitions, it would see Newcastle drop out of the Champions League and into the Europa League.

By triumping in Europe, Man Utd and Chelsea would clinch the first two of five places straight away.

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The Premier League’s top three would then take the remaining spots.

And despite finishing in the top four, the fourth-place side would be denied entry to the Champions League as they would become ‘team six’.

It means Newcastle will be keeping their fingers crossed for Real Madrid to beat Chelsea, with United playing fellow Spaniards Sevilla.

Toon were closely involved the last time a similar occurrence happened in England’s top flight.

Newcastle narrowly missed out on fourth place to Tottenham in the 2011/12 season.

Spurs were delighted to gain entry into the big time.

But Chelsea, who finished sixth that term, spoiled the party with their famous penalty shootout win against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.

Back then, Uefa rules only allowed for a max of four teams from the same country to play in Europe.

And it meant Chelsea went through to next season’s competition at the expense of rivals Tottenham.

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