Express & Star

How the latest European results affect Aston Villa's Champions League hopes

Aston Villa now carry England's slim hopes of a fifth Champions League place next season solely on their shoulders, but Germany have tightened their grip in the race for the last remaining extra spot.


Two European Performance Spots (EPS) are reserved in the new 36-team Champions League from next season for clubs from the two best-performing nations in the previous campaign's men's club competitions.

Points are awarded for wins (two) and draws (one) in all three competitions from the group stage onwards, as well as for participation and progress, and then an average is calculated by dividing points earned by the number of teams that country had playing in Europe at the start of the season.

Italy have already secured one of the places, and Germany need their three remaining teams to secure just three more points between them to be sure of the second place.

Villa earned one point for progressing to the semi-finals of the Conference League on Thursday night, but not for winning the penalty shoot-out against Lille.

Unai Emery's team can still earn seven points towards England's total if they win both legs of their semi-final against Olympiacos and the final inside 120 minutes.

Villa are currently fourth in the Premier League, which would assure them of Champions League qualification in any case, with Tottenham the club who would currently benefit if Villa did go all the way in Europe and Germany and France failed to secure the required points.