What Tottenham need to qualify for the 2024/25 UEFA Champions League

Tottenham’s dreams of returning to the UEFA Champions League hang in the balance approaching the end of the 2023/24 season.

Spurs hit the top of the English top flight when they beat Fulham back in October, but an injury crisis induced by the chaotic 4-1 home defeat to Chelsea saw Ange Postecoglou’s side drift out of title contention and into the top four scrap.

The north Londoners remain in a decent position to return to Europe’s elite club competition and may even be helped should England’s UEFA coefficient finish in the continent’s top two. However, first they must overcome a daunting-looking fixture list in the run-in.

Here’s what Tottenham need to return to the Champions League in time for the introduction of a new format.

Cristian Romero, Emerson RoyaCristian Romero, Emerson Roya

Tottenham have fallen behind Aston Villa in the top-four race / Richard Pelham/GettyImages

Tottenham’s exciting start to life under new boss Postecoglou had fans dreaming of a surprise title tilt barely months after the departure of club record goalscorer Harry Kane to Bayern Munich.

Spurs drew their season opener at Brentford and then won eight of their next nine league games, topping the table after a 2-0 win over Fulham.

However, a 4-1 defeat to Chelsea saw James Maddison and Micky van de Ven suffer significant injuries, while suspension and fitness issues for Cristian Romero meant Tottenham were left without a recognised centre-back in the starting XI.

The loss to Mauricio Pochettino’s Blues was the opening disappointment in a five-game winless run, though results were more positive over the festive period approaching the run-in.

Ultimately, their top-four ambitions will be defined by some huge matches during the final few months of the campaign. They received a huge boost with a crushing victory over a woeful Aston Villa, one that keeps their UCL hopes in their own hands, but Spurs also still need to contest London derbies with Fulham and West Ham.

From mid-April to early May, Tottenham face Newcastle, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool consecutively. In order to qualify for the Champions League, they’ll need to come through that run of fixtures relatively unscathed before their final two outings of the season against basement dwellers Burnley and Sheffield United.

Date

Time

Fixture

16/03/24

17:30

Fulham vs Tottenham

30/03/24

15:00

Tottenham vs Luton Town

02/04/24

20:15

West Ham vs Tottenham

08/04/24

20:00

Tottenham vs Nottingham Forest

13/04/24

12:30

Newcastle vs Tottenham

20/04/24

15:00

Tottenham vs Man City

27/04/24

15:00

Tottenham vs Arsenal

04/05/24

15:00

Liverpool vs Tottenham

11/05/24

15:00

Tottenham vs Burnley

19/05/24

16:00

Sheffield United vs Tottenham

2023/24 Premier League table

Pos

Team

Played

GD

Pts

1.

Arsenal

28

+46

64

2.

Liverpool

28

+39

64

3.

Man City

28

+35

63

4.

Aston Villa

28

+18

55

5.

Tottenham

27

+20

53

6.

Man Utd

28

0

47

The UEFA Champions League will change format in 2024/25, with the number of competing clubs increasing from 32 to 36. Four extra spots are up for grabs across Europe, with two handed to the associations with the best UEFA coefficient scores this season.

Teams competing in UEFA competitions earn their respective associations points for their coefficient by getting results in Europe.

How UEFA coefficient points are awarded

Points

Awarded for

2

Wins in group stage (UCL, UEL, UECL)

1

Wins in qualifying and play-off matches (UCL, UEL, UECL)

1

Draws in group stage (UCL, UEL, UECL)

0.5

Draws in qualifying and play-off matches (UCL, UEL, UECL)

4

Group stage bonus participation (UCL, UEL)

4

Last 16 bonus participation (UCL)

4

Group winners (UEL)

2

Group runners-up (UEL)

2

Group winners (UECL)

1

Group runners-up (UECL)

1

Each round clubs reach from the round of 16 (UCL, UEL, UECL)

Current 2023/24 UEFA coefficient table

England was firmly on course for a top-place in the 2023/24 coefficient up until late February and March, when their teams competing in Europe began to struggle.

Good wins for Bayern Munich and Freiburg have helped Germany’s chances of gaining an extra Champions League spot, but fewer Bundesliga teams remain in Europe compared to Italy and England.

Rank

Nation

2023/24 coefficient

1.

Italy

16.571

2.

Germany

15.500

3.

England

14.625

4.

France

14.416

5.

Spain

13.437

6.

Czechia

13.000

7.

Belgium

12.400

8.

Turkey

11.500

9.

Portugal

10.166

10.

Netherlands

10.000

* Scores correct as of 8 March 2024

Cristian RomeroCristian Romero

Romero saw red against AC Milan / Clive Rose/GettyImages

Tottenham competed in the UEFA Champions League as recently as the 2022/23 season, though it was not a particularly memorable campaign for supporters.

Having stormed to a top-four spot the season prior following Antonio Conte’s arrival, the Lilywhites only secured top spot in Group D – which also featured Eintracht Frankfurt, Sporting CP and Marseille – on matchday six.

Conte’s spell in north London was coming to a tame end by the time the last-16 tie with AC Milan rolled around. Brahim Diaz scored the tie’s only goal across both legs just seven minutes into the meeting at San Siro, with Spurs looking clueless in the return leg against the then reigning Italian champions.

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