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Serie A secures extra UCL place, Bundesliga and EPL still in contention

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Italy's Serie A will get an extra place in next season's revamped Champions League.

With next season's tournament featuring an expanded field of 36 teams, the two leagues with the best overall performance across all European competitions this campaign will be rewarded with an additional berth each.

Serie A has built an insurmountable coefficient advantage over the other leagues in contention, as detailed by Dale Johnson of ESPN, thus sealing one of the extra places.

Despite Serie A losing all of its Champions League participants earlier in the tournament, both Roma and Atalanta reached the semifinals of the Europa League on Thursday, while Fiorentina are back in the semis of the Conference League.

Instead of the usual four, the top five teams in Serie A this season will automatically qualify for the 2024-25 Champions League.

Germany's Bundesliga and England's Premier League are battling for the final extra berth. France still has an outside chance, too. The Bundesliga is in a very strong position after Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund reached the Champions League semifinals, while the Premier League lost Arsenal and Manchester City. Liverpool's surprising Europa League exit at the hands of Atalanta was also a big blow to the Premier League's chances.

Serie A has a coefficient of 19.428 points, ahead of Germany (17.928) and England (17.375). Germany needs just 0.488 more coefficient points - equivalent to two victories, or a win and two draws - to nab the other berth, according to Johnson.

Coefficient averages are found by adding the total points accumulated by all of a country's European participants and dividing by the number of clubs competing. Teams collect two points for each match won and one for a draw. Countries earn bonus points by having representatives in the group and knockout stages.

The Premier League, which had eight teams in European competitions to begin the year, was a favorite to nab one of the extra Champions League places prior to this week's action.

In addition to losing Manchester City and Arsenal, West Ham United were knocked out of the Europa League by newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen in another direct battle between Germany and England.

Had this system been in place in any of the past three seasons, England would have secured one of the extra spots based on the performances of its teams in Europe. Italy has been the standout performer this year, though.

Access to 2024-25 European competitions in Serie A now breaks down as follows: League positions one through five qualify for the Champions League, sixth place and the domestic cup winners go to the Europa League, and seventh place heads to the Conference League.

Italy could have six teams in the Champions League if Roma or Atalanta win the Europa League and finish outside the automatic qualifying spots in Serie A. Roma is currently fifth in the table, four points ahead of Atalanta in sixth, and stand to benefit most if the table remains the same through the end of the domestic season.

Meanwhile, the race to finish fourth in the Premier League could heat up in the coming weeks with fifth place now unlikely to yield a Champions League berth. Aston Villa currently occupy the final Champions League spot but are likely to face a stiff challenge from Tottenham Hotspur, who sit three points back with a game in hand.

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