Graeme Souness says up to six clubs can qualify for Champions League

‘There’s only one position confirmed and that’s first’: Graeme Souness believes up to six clubs can qualify for the Champions League following Manchester City’s two-year ban

  • Man City received a two-year Champions League ban due to FFP violations 
  • As a result, fifth place in the Premier League could mean automatic qualification
  • Graeme Souness says teams won’t be thinking about that specifically though  

Graeme Souness says ‘half a dozen’ clubs can qualify for the top-five and potentially Champions League football after Manchester City’s European ban.

The champions were handed a two-year suspension from the Champions League by UEFA on Friday for violation of financial fair play rules – City have said they will appeal the verdict in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Given City’s current position of second in the Premier League, it could mean fifth place qualifies for the Champions League and former Liverpool captain Souness believes although teams won’t change their approach due to the verdict, European football is still very much up for grabs.

Graeme Souness says other clubs won’t consciously be thinking about fifth place 

The extra Champions League spot could become available due to Man City’s two-year ban 

Speaking on Sky Sports, Souness said: ‘Half a dozen clubs will think they can finish fifth.

‘There’s only one position confirmed and that’s Liverpool. You want to play in the Champions League and compete against the best players.

‘At this stage of the season everything is very much up to play for. Regardless of City, they [other clubs] will think they could have a great end to the season.’

Former Brighton and Newcastle manager Chris Hughton agreed with Souness’ sentiment. 

Manager Chris Wilder has guided Sheffield United in contention for a Champions League place

‘I don’t think they’ll [other clubs] consciously be thinking about it,’ Hughton said.

‘Wolves, Sheffield United and Everton are on a fabulous run. They’ll be thinking about having a good end to the season, but for the chairman and owners of the club – it may cross their mind.’

Sheffield United, who were promoted from the Championship, currently occupy fifth spot in the Premier League table, while Chelsea are in fourth.

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