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How Liverpool and Newcastle could finish in the top four and still miss out on the Champions League

The race to secure a top-four place in the Premier League will likely see plenty of twists and turns become the outcome is determined.

Arsenal and Manchester City look guaranteed to be in next season’s Champions League, but which teams will join them is less clear.

According to the latest data from FiveThirtyEight, Manchester United have a 74 percent chance of qualifying for UEFA’s top-tier club competition.

However, there is an intriguing scenario in play that could see the Red Devils still qualify and bump their biggest rivals out of the competition in the process.

If United drop out of the top four but win the Europa League, they would still be awarded a place in the 2023/24 Champions League.

If that happened and Liverpool finished in fourth place, the Merseyside outfit would end up in the Europe League.

Chelsea’s continued presence in this season’s Champions League is also potentially problematic to clubs chasing a top-four spot in the Premier League.

If they lifted the prestigious trophy at the end of the campaign, a team finishing in the top four would have to settle for a place in the Europa League.

Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion are the teams sweating alongside Liverpool about how things will unfold.

Newcastle are currently rated as having a 44% chance of qualifying for the Champions League and will be desperate not to see their hopes scuppered by Man United or Chelsea.

Tottenham can testify how it feels to miss out on the Champions League after suffering that fate at the end of the 2011/12 campaign.

They finished fourth that season but lost their spot in the top-tier tournament after sixth-placed Chelsea won Europe’s top club prize.

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