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Friday, 13 May 2016

CL Qualification

The UEFA Champions League qualification as it stands ahead of this weeks final round of fixtures.

Group stage – as it stands (confirmed sides in bold)

ESP: BarcelonaReal Madrid, Atlético Madrid
ENG: Leicester CityTottenham, Arsenal
GER: Bayern MünchenBorussia DortmundBayer Leverkusen
ITA: Juventus, Napoli
POR: Benfica, Sporting CP
FRA: Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon
RUS: CSKA Moskva
UKR: Dynamo Kyiv
NED: PSV Eindhoven
BEL: Club Brugge
SUI: Basel
TUR: Beşiktaş
Play-offs (league path) – as it stands
Villarreal (ESP), Manchester City (ENG), Mönchengladbach (GER), Roma (ITA), Porto (POR)
Tthere is plenty to play for in Europe this weekend and what happens has an effect on transfer business. A player at a club with Champions League football does not need to move club whereas a player outside the competition will want to move to a side who can offer Champions League football.
It is something we have struggled with over the years, players simply didn't want to come to a club who hadn't qualified so there will still be plenty of that even with a further influx of money in the Premier League. There is plenty of talk of interest in Leicester City players, but apart from Riyad Mahrez perhaps, why would any of them want to leave?
West Ham offering Europa League football to Jamie Vardy when he has Champions League football with Leicester City is laughable. We can now attract players so when we are linked with names there is far more chance of them agreeing to join us this season than in previous seasons.

Many fans have often said why do we try for players we can't get, you have to try to get the best you can, West Han have to try. You'll never sign anyone if you don't at least try. Now though we have something to offer and we have shown youngsters that if you are good enough, technically and mentally, you'll play. 
There is still that block among many teams in Europe, the average age of players is on the increase, it is now 26, not good news for a 20-year-old. At Tottenham, we buck the trend, another plus in our favour.
Here in the UK it is an issue of whether Arsenal can get a point at home against the bottom club in order to secure an automatic place in the Champions League. In France Lyon have a goal difference that means they will finish second and the issue is whether Monaco or Nice go into the play-off stages.
In Italy Roma look certain to qualify, it's just a question of whether they make up a two -point deficit to Napoli to sneak the qualification to the group stages. 
In Germany, Borussia Monchengladbach have a goal difference that means they will qualify. for the play-off stages.

In Russia, CSKA Moscow have 59 points with 2 games left. There is only one automatic place and one play-off place. In second 2 points behind is Rostov, a further 2 points away is Zenit St Petersburg and 4th a further 2 points away, so 6 points off the top, is Krasnodar.

In Turkey there are 2 games to go. Besiktas are 6 points clear and with a +7 better goal difference than Fenerbache who are in the play-off position and can't be caught.

In Spain Villarreal are assured of a play-off place, in Portugal Porto are assured of a play-off place, in Switzerland Young Boys will go into the Play-off stages and in Holland PSV won the title so Ajax go into the play-off stages.


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