Europa League spot explained as Man City play Aston Villa in Carabao Cup final

The winners of the Carabao Cup receive a spot in the second qualifying round of next season’s UEFA Europa League, but where will the spot go should Manchester City beat Aston Villa ?

Pep Guardiola’s side have received a two-year ban from European club competitions for breaches of club licensing and financial fair play regulations, but that has been appealed to the court of arbitration for sport.

With that in mind, the subject of the League Cup’s Europa League spot comes into question, with those lurking below third in the Premier League all involved.

If City do take the cup for a third season in a row then the highest placed team in the final league table, that has not already qualified for Europe, will be placed into the second qualifying round.

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That will come as a blow to any Villa fans that fancied a return to European football, with their potential status as runners-up irrelevant despite City’s ban.

The news could eventually come as a boost to the likes of Wolves, Sheffield United or Burnley, with Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal aiming for Champions League qualification.

Dean Smith said of his side’s trip to Wembley earlier in the week: “I see it as a massive opportunity, the lads have done so well to get to the final.

“Football is about winning things, sport is about winning things and we’ve got an opportunity now where we’re going to be massive underdogs against a world-class team but I can probably only name one or two teams who wouldn’t be underdogs against Manchester City.”

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“Whether we win or lose it certainly won’t define the season because there’s another 11 games to go.

“Each game we play in we have to go and perform to get points.”

Chris Wilder’s Blades currently occupy eight position in the league but are only two points behind fifth place with a game in hand.

Despite their close proximity to the Europa League spots, Wilder remains focussed on the task at hand.

He said: “A promoted side get

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s to 40 points with 11 games to go… I know a few teams would swap.

“But I wouldn't swap my players, in terms of attitude, battling with big boys.

“I don't know where the season is going to go but I’ve got a good idea if they keep going as well as they have been doing.”

Before adding: "Europe is not something we're thinking about.”

  • Aston Villa FC
  • Manchester City FC
  • Chelsea FC
  • Manchester United FC
  • Sheffield United FC
  • Wolves FC
  • Burnley FC
  • Arsenal FC
  • Tottenham Hotspur FC
  • Europa League
  • League Cup
  • Champions League
  • Premier League
  • Pep Guardiola

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