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RACE FOR EUROPE

How many English teams are allowed to play in Champions League next season? Could the fourth-placed Premier League team miss out?

All the information you need to know about Champions League and Europa League participation next season

Chelsea are not only on their way to the Premier League title, but a return to Europe’s top table in the Champions League.

The Blues have left the rest for dust and to fight it out for the remaining places in the Champions League and Europa League next season.

Antonio Conte is set to be handed a new deal at Chelsea 'in a matter of days'

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Who will be joining Antonio Conte and Chelsea in the Champions League next season?

But could a Premier League team potentially follow in the footsteps of Tottenham in 2012 by finishing fourth and failing to qualify for the Champions League?

Here’s Dream Team with all you need to know about Premier League participation in Europe next season.

How many teams from one country are allowed to play in the Champions League?

The maximum any country can have playing in the Champions League is five.

Only England, Spain and Germany can possibly enter five teams as they are the top three associations in UEFA and are awarded the four coveted Champions League spots.

Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher parade the Champions League trophy in 2005

PA:Press Association
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Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher parade the Champions League trophy in 2005

WE ARE DI CHAMPIONS ... Roberto Di Matteo raises the Champions League trophy

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Roberto Di Matteo leads Chelsea to Champions League trophy to deny Spurs who finished fourth

It used to be only four regardless of what happened in the previous season.

Spurs previously finished fourth and missed out due to Chelsea winning the Champions League.

Could the fourth-placed Premier League team miss out on Champions League?

That was a possibility until the final English team, Leicester, were knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid.

If a Premier League team finishing outside the top four won both the Champions League and Europa League, they would take the final spots in Europe’s top club competition.

That would leave the fourth placed team dropping down to the Europa League.

Pep Guardiola is on the verge of joining an elite group of managers

Getty Images
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Pep Guardiola might find best way back into Champions League is to finish top four

What happens if Manchester United win the Europa League AND finish in top four?

Again, no team that finishes outside the top four, unless they win the Champions League or Europa League, will be at Europe’s top table the season afterwards.

It’s the main reason why Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is placing so much emphasis on winning the Europa League, while they struggle to narrow the gap with the Premier League top four.