Note: This is the final piece looking at the title/relegation races across English football. Click on the links to see the Championship, League One, and League Two.
With the completion of the midweek “Boxing Day” matches, all the clubs in the Premier League have now played 19 matches, and begin the second half of their schedules with matches beginning on Saturday.
As a reminder, the top four clubs in the Premier League qualify for the Group Stage of Champions League, while the fifth place team does the same in Europa League. These competitions are great for worldwide exposure – not to mention the prize money – but it’s also for bragging rights across Europe. No English club has won the Champions League since Chelsea did so back in 2012, though we are only two seasons removed from Manchester City claiming the last English Europa League title.
League placement is important for clubs beyond the top five as well. Last season, due to cup winners qualifying for continental competition based on league position, England’s final two Europa League spots went to the next highest finishers in the league, with Arsenal (6th place) and Burnley (7th) making it into the tournament.