Following defeats for three of the Premier League sides in the opening games of this seasons Champions League group stages, the Premier League fourth Champions League spot is under threat from Serie A. This is decided by the UEFA association club coefficient rankings. England currently sit third in these rankings, behind Spain and Germany. The rankings are decided by the performances of the association clubs in the previous five years of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
At the end of last season, England were second in the rankings ahead of Germany, meaning that the La Liga, Premier League and Bundesliga will get four Champions League spots at the end of this season. But the Premier League four spots could be under threat for the 2017/18 season, as the rankings are calculated over a five year period. The 2010/11 season, which was a good one for the English teams but not for the Italian teams, now drops out of the reckoning. Meaning Italy began the 2015/16 season just three points behind England and Germany have already over taken England in the rankings.
The Premier League cause has been aided by the fact that England has four teams in the Champions League group stages after Manchester United successfully came through the qualifying rounds. Whilst Italy only has two teams in the group stages after Lazio failed to it through the qualifying rounds. This guarantees that England will receive an extra eight bonus on the Italian teams. As each team that makes the group stages receives four bonus points. The number of a points a league can win are identical in Champions League and Europa League group stages. Meaning an association depends on its performances across both competitions.
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