How Tottenham can still qualify for the Champions League amid worst-case Aston Villa scenario

Son Heung-min celebrates a goal for Tottenham
Tottenham can still qualify for next season's edition of the Champions League at the expense of Aston Villa -Credit:James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Tottenham's hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League looked to be over earlier this month. Following Borussia Dortmund's first leg semi-final win against Paris Saint-Germain, Germany's UEFA coefficient reached 18.357 with England, following European elimination for Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City, unable to match that tally.

As a result, Spurs' slim hopes of playing in next season's competition rested solely on finishing fourth in the Premier League table. Unfortunately for Ange Postecoglou, Aston Villa's advantage was clear with a higher points total, better goal difference and less daunting fixture run-in for the final few weeks of the season.

Having lost to Newcastle, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, Tottenham have been sat on 60 points since mid-April all while Villa have stretched the gap over their rivals. Unai Emery's side are two league games without a win but they still are in pole position to qualify on 67 points.

Despite it appearing as though all hope has gone, Tottenham can still actually qualify for the Champions League through their domestic position. On Saturday, Spurs welcome Burnley to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium where they must win to have any chance of qualifying for Europe's top competition.

Villa then face Liverpool on Monday evening where Spurs will need Jurgen Klopp's side to repeat their 4-2 victory from last weekend. While Villa also have the points advantage, they sit on a higher goal difference of 20 compared to Tottenham's 11. Therefore, Liverpool opening the floodgates would be greatly appreciated in north London.

24 hours after that clash, Spurs take on reigning champions Manchester City and avoiding defeat is paramount. In a best-case scenario, Tottenham would win but they can get away with a draw that would leave them on 64 points and therefore it would head to the final day.

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Even though they would be three points worse off and likely behind on goals, Spurs can head into their clash against already-relegated Sheffield United with confidence. The Blades have conceded over 100 goals this season and Spurs will certainly fancy their chances to dominate a goal-fest.

Regardless of Spurs' result, they need Villa to lose at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace and that is certainly possible given their recent form. Under Oliver Glasner, the Eagles have been in scintillating form with four wins out of their last five and 13 goals in the process.

Of course if Spurs beat Man City after also defeating Burnley, they would only need Villa to lose against Palace, assuming they did not take points off Liverpool, and beat Sheffield United to finish fourth. Understandably, Villa's advantage is significant but it is still possible for Tottenham to return to the Champions League for the 2024/25 campaign.

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