Newcastle have an outside chance of being able to qualify for the Europa League next season, but it will depend on who wins the FA Cup, and how well we do in our final 10 league games.
But not in England, and the three qualifiers are as follows:
- 5th place in Premier League
- Capital One (League) Cup winners
- FA Cup winners
That selection criteria has caused some weak sides to represent England in the Europa League recently, with Birmingham winning the League Cup in 2011 by beating Arsenal, and Wigan winning the FA Cup last year by beating Manchester City, but both were also relegated.
There are also some things that happen, should the winners of the cups already have qualified for European competition.
If the League Cup winners have already qualified for Europe – as it seems Manchester City have – then that place goes to the 6th place finishers in the league.
That will happen this season unless City have an enormous slump through the end of the season.
And if the FA Cup winners have already qualified for Europe, then that place goes to the FA Cup runners-up – and that’s how Stoke qualified for the Europa League, after losing the FA Cup Final in 2011 to Manchester City by a 1-0 scoreline.
And if the FA Cup runners-up have already qualified, then it goes to the 7th place finishers on the league.
There are three clubs left in the FA Cup who look like they will have qualified for Europe already – Manchester City, Arsenal and Everton, but unfortunately Arsenal and Everton are drawn against each other in the quarter finals this Saturday.
But if Manchester City and Arsenal or Everton make the final then 7th place would get us into the Europa League – it’s a little unlikely.
There would be more chance if Arsenal make the final with Everton, who are currently in 6th place, but only 3 points above Tottenham.
Newcastle are 5 points behind Everton with an inferior goals difference, so if we can get into 6th place we will make the Europa League and maybe even if we finish in 7th place.
So with a good haul of points in the last 10 games – say 20 – we could qualify for Europe.
These are our last 10 games of the season with the Everton game, due to be played this Saturday, now rearranged to March 25th:
Sat 15 15:00 A Fulham Sat 22 15:00 H Crystal Palace Wed 25 19:45 H Everton Sat 29 15:00 A Southampton April Sat 05 15:00 H Man United Sat 12 15:00 A Stoke City Sat 19 15:00 H Swansea City Sat 26 15:00 A Arsenal May Sat 03 15:00 H Cardiff City Sun 11 15:00 A Liverpool
Our best chance of wins in those games are probably against Fulham, Crystal Palace, Manchester United, Stake and Swansea – there’s 15 points.
Note: James Sands is a long time reader of the blog, and he is running the Bristol marathon on April 9th on behalf of the Stroke Association – James’ target is £750 in donations, which can be made here – please help if you can.