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Why West Ham vs Freiburg is more than just a Europa League clash for Premier League clubs

West Ham United’s Europa League encounter with Bundesliga outfit Freiburg on Thursday is more important than their own hopes of reaching the quarter-final.

The outcome will have a major impact on which country gets an additional Champions League spot next season.

England is currently in a tight race with Germany and Italy for two newly-created Champions League slots.

These are awarded based on UEFA’s coefficient ranking system, which considers a nation’s performance in all European competitions.

Italy seems likely to secure one spot due to multiple teams progressing in European tournaments. However, the battle between England and Germany is fierce.

West Ham’s result can tip the scales. A win for the Hammers would give them valuable points and put England in a stronger position. A Freiburg victory would benefit Germany.

The additional Champions League slot has major implications for the entire Premier League.

If England secures it, the team finishing fifth would automatically qualify for Europe’s elite competition. They would free up spots for other teams in the Europa League and Europa Conference League.

The potential domino effect could see more English teams playing in Europe next season, making the race for fifth place to even eighth place much more critical.

Manchester United, West Ham, Brighton & Hove Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Newcastle United and Chelsea all have a chance at clinching European qualification next season.

West Ham’s Europa League clash with Freiburg is more than the immediate contest. It is a battle for national coefficient ranking points, with far-reaching consequences for the Premier League.

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