Express & Star

Aston Villa must finish fourth for Champions League slot after Premier League miss out on extra place

Villa must finish fourth in the Premier League to make the Champions League next season after Germany was granted the extra place in the competition.

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One club from each of the two countries who collectively perform best in European club competition this season are granted additional places in the new-look 36-team league phase being introduced for the 2024-25 season.

Borussia Dortmund's semi-final first leg victory over Paris St Germain on Wednesday night sealed the second spot for Germany.

Italy wrapped up the first spot last month, and it now means that no matter how well Villa do in the Europa Conference League, England cannot secure an extra place.

Villa must now hold on to fourth spot in the Premier League in order to qualify for the Champions League. They are seven points ahead of Tottenham, but Spurs have two games in hand on Unai Emery's team.

However, Spurs look to have a tougher run-in than Unai Emery's men.

The north London club face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tonight, before a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool on Sunday. They then host Burnley and Manchester City before a final day fixture at already-relegated Sheffield United.

Villa travel to Brighton on Sunday, before hosting Liverpool on Monday week and a final fixture away at Crystal Palace.