Pep Guardiola doesn’t start work at Manchester City for another three months, but he’s already done his new side – and the 19 others in the Premier League – a huge favour.
That’s because thanks to Bayern Munich knocking Juventus out of the Champions League last night, English sides will go further in European competition than their Italian counterparts.
Because of the way UEFA’s coefficient ranking system works, had Juve gone through last night, Italy would have had the same number of teams left in Europe as England – two.
Bear with us on this because it’s not that easy to explain.
Basically, because the Premier League is now guaranteed to do better in the Champions League and Europa League this season, they cannot lose a Champions League place for the 2017-18 season.
Only the top three leagues in the world (England, Spain and Germany), receive four Champions League places each year, and England are currently third in the ranking.
Italy are fourth and if they’d have outperformed English sides this season, they could have stolen the fourth place for 2017-18, leaving the Premier League with just three Champions League places.
The Premier League is currently 3.97 points (don’t ask us how they work out these points because it’s like rocket science) ahead of Italy, and even if Serie A’s one remaining European participant – Lazio – win the Europa League, they can only add a maximum of 2.5 points to their total.
Because Man City and one of Manchester United or Liverpool are through to the quarter finals of their respective competitions, the Premier League’s lead will be stretched – even more so if they go further than Lazio do.
So yeah, thanks Pep.