Liverpool FC currently sits third in the Premier League standings with just three games to play.
At this point, it might be near impossible to catch league leaders Chelsea, but Liverpool’s chances of joining them in next year’s Champions League just got a whole lot better.
That’s because 2015-16 Premier League champs Leicester City were knocked out of this year’s Champions League in the quarter finals stage by Atletico Madrid this week.
The Premier League can normally only send its top four teams to the following year’s Champions League. Five if any team outside the league’s top four manages to win either the current Champions League or Europa League.
Manchester United still has a shot at the Europa League title, and will play Celta Vigo in next month’s semi final round. However, Leicester City’s loss to Atletico Madrid ensures no Premier League team will win this year’s Champions League trophy. It also means the teams that finish in the Premier League’s top four positions this season will have a shot at it next year.
Chelsea and Tottenham are good bets to finish one-two, but its a tight race for the other two Champions League spots between Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Arsenal. Of course, Liverpool has the points edge right now, but it has also played the most games of the group.
In the meantime, having already had its effect on the teams at the top of the Premier League table, Atletico Madrid will enter the Champion’s League semifinal as underdogs in a rematch of last year’s final.
Cross town rival Real Madrid are the favorites to repeat as Champions League winners after beating Bayern Munich 6-3 on aggregate reach a record seventh consecutive Champions League semifinal.
The two Madrid teams have faced each other in the Champions League final two out of the past three years. Real Madrid won both.
Only one will make it through this time to face the winner of the other semifinal between Juventus and Monaco.
In the meantime, Liverpool finishes up the Premier League season next month with matches at Crystal Palace, at home versus Watford, at Southampton, at home versus West Ha, and away at Middlesbrough. This gives the team a legitimate shot at earning a place in next year’s Champion’s League and trying to end Spain’s dominance there.
Five of the last six Champions League finalists have all come from Spain’s La Liga. This season, La Liga sent four clubs into the Champions League final 16 and now two of the four semifinalists.
Real Madrid has won two of the last three titles with Barcelona keeping the trophy in a La Liga team’s hands in the intervening year.
Real Madrid is currently managed by retired French football great Zinedine Zidane.
The club currently sits second to Barcelona in the La Liga standings after to a win by Barcelona in teams’ weekend matchup. Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi scored a goal in the 92nd minute of the game to give Barcelona a 3-2 win and the top spot on the league table.