England see off Italy threat to keep four Champions League places

The Premier League had faced a challenge from Italy - which currently has only three spots - as a result of a fall in its rating in UEFA's coefficient system.

But the progress of Manchester City and Liverpool to the quarter-finals of this season's Champions League and Europa League respectively, while Roma, Juventus and Lazio have all been eliminated from European competition, has reversed the situation.

UEFA awards four Champions League places to the top three nations in its rankings

These allocations are determined a year in advance, meaning those for 2016-17 were set by the ratings at the end of the 2014-15 season

The countries in possession at this point were Spain, England and Germany.

However, the system is run on a rolling five-year basis and so for the 2017-18 allocations, points accrued during 2010-11 - which was strong for England and poor for Italy - were discounted from the reckoning

This saw England drop to third behind Germany, just three points ahead of Italy.

England's clubs therefore needed a better 2015-16 campaign than Italy to ensure four places would be retained

With all Serie A sides now out, this has been achieved.

Source : PA

Source: PA