Where Leeds United could now finish and what is required to qualify for Europa Conference League

LEEDS United could finish their first season back in the Premier League on 59 points which would highly likely seal a top-half finish.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 3:05 pm
HAILING DISTANCE: Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa greets Tottenham boss Ryan Mason before Saturday's clash at Elland Road which left the Whites six points behind Spurs. Photo by JASON CAIRNDUFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

The Whites still have mathematical prospects of sealing a European qualification place but would almost certainly need to win their last three games and hope for improbable results elsewhere.

The team finishing in seventh place will seal the sole qualification spot for next season's new Europa Conference League - providing Chelsea and Leicester City remain in the top five - or if the Blues win the Champions League. Otherwise it will be sixth.

The Europa Conference League is a new competition starting next season which effectively operates below the Europa League and Champions League.

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Mathematically at least, Leeds could still finish as high as fifth, albeit the mother of all long shots, and Marcelo Bielsa's Whites are now guaranteed to finish at least 13th.

United took their haul to 50 points through Saturday's 3-1 victory at home to Tottenham Hotspur who have now slipped to seventh and could yet be on tenth-placed United's radar.

Leeds are six points behind Spurs and both sides have three games left.

Tottenham now have two consecutive home games against Wolves and then Aston Villa before ending the campaign away at Leicester City.

Leeds ought to have every chance of ending the season with nine points through away fixtures at Southampton and Burnley followed by the season finale at home to already relegated West Brom.

Overhauling Spurs is very much a long shot but at least possible.

Everton are a point and a place behind Spurs in eighth so just five points ahead of Leeds but the Toffees have four games left - Aston Villa away, Sheffield United at home, Wolves at home and Manchester City away on the final day.

Overtaking them looks even more unlikely and sixth-placed Liverpool and fifth-placed West Ham United are on the verge of being mathematically too far away for Leeds to catch.

The Reds are seven points ahead of Leeds and have four games left - three consecutive away games at Manchester United, West Brom and Burnley before a home clash against Crystal Palace.

West Ham are eight points ahead of the Whites and have three fixtures left - trips to Brighton and West Brom before a visit from Southampton on the final day.

But Leeds are just two points behind ninth-placed Arsenal who along with eleventh-placed Aston Villa look the main rivals in the table as to where the Whites will finish.

Mikel Arteta's Gunners side face a tough task in their next game away at Chelsea which is followed by a trip to Crystal Palace and finale at home to Brighton.

Leeds ought to have every chance of finishing above the Gunners and also 11th-placed Villa who are two points behind the Whites but have a game in hand.

Dean Smith's side also have it tough with a home clash against Everton followed by fixtures at Crystal Palace and Tottenham and then a date against Chelsea at Villa Park on the final day.

Both 12th-placed Wolves and 13th-placed Crystal Palace could still overtake Leeds but not if the Whites amassed a minimum of five points from their last three fixtures and four points would probably be enough given the goal differences.

That looks more than doable and the chances are that a strong end to the season would seal a top-half finish and possibly ninth, above Arsenal.

It wouldn't quite be enough for Europe for which a seventh-placed finish is probably needed but whatever happens from here on in, Leeds have already worked wonders in their first season back.

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Thank you Laura Collins