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Our fate in Liverpool's hands

Filed: Tuesday, 5th May 2015
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United's chances of qualifying for the Europa League next season appear to rest in the hands of Liverpool.

This afternoon the Premier League published the latest version of the Fair Play Table, the winners of which are able to gain entry to the first qualifying round of the 2015/16 Europa League.

And the latest table, which includes the latest Premier League results up to the end of April is headed by the Merseysiders whose score of 281.5 tops West Ham's by just one quarter of a point.

Burnley, who led the table in the last published version at Chirstmas 2014 have slipped below both Liverpool, West Ham, Everton (3rd) and Manchester City (4th) as you may see in the table here.

Europa League? Fair Play? How does it work?

As things stand, the top three clubs in the Premier League at the end of the season qualify for the Champions League group stage with the fourth-placed team entering an earlier play-off round.

Following that, the team finishing fifth in the Premier League - the position currently occupied by Liverpool - automatically qualify for the Europa League, as do the winners of the FA Cup and Capital One Cup. Which is where things become interesting.

With Chelsea having already secured the Football League's trophy and the Premier League title, their Capital One Cup spot now moves down to the sixth-placed league team (currently Tottenham).

And if Arsenal overcome Aston Villa at Wembley later this month, recently-introduced rules state that their FA Cup spot goes not to the runners-up but to the next highest-ranked team in the Premier League (seventh-placed Southampton, as things stand).

So coming back to West Ham, should Liverpool finish in the top six, their Fair Play spot would pass to the second placed team - which is of course West Ham!

Now all we need is for the Premier League to qualify for one of the three vacant spots. The national rankings have not been published since last Christmas, when England were third behind the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands.

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