Premier League secures four Champions League places for 2017-18

The Premier League will keep four Champions League places for the 2017-18 season following the elimination of Juventus from the competition.

Italy had been hoping to move above England into third in UEFA's coefficient ranking this season, thus claiming a Champions League berth at England's expense.

But Juve's exit at the hands of Bayern Munich leaves Serie A with just one club in European competition. Lazio can add a maximum of 2.5 coefficient points to Italy's score by winning the Europa League, but England is 3.97 points in front -- an unassailable lead.

Despite England failing to have more than one team in the quarterfinals of the Champions League -- and likely the Europa League too, with Tottenham Hotspur three goals down to Borussia Dortmund after the first leg -- only Germany and Spain have outperformed English clubs this season.

Serie A clubs scored 19.000 points last season, the first time they had outscored Premier League clubs since 2005-06.

Italian clubs needed to again perform to a similar standard, with Premier League clubs underperforming, to overtake England.

But Italy's chances were harmed badly by Sampdoria's defeat in the third qualifying round of the Europa League. That essentially neutralised any effect from Southampton and West Ham both failing to make the group stage of the same competition.

Fiorentina's defeat to Tottenham in the round-of-32 in the Europa League was a crucial blow, and now there is no mathematical chance Italy overtaking England.

In fact, rather than Serie A clubs cutting the gap over the course of this season, Premier League clubs have actually extended it by 0.875 points.

It could be a very different story next season, however. The coefficient standings are based upon a five-year period, and when the 2011-12 score is removed in the summer Italy will claw back 3.893 points -- which as it stands would essentially leave both leagues level and in a direct battle for four Champions League places.

However, discussions are ongoing over the structure of the Champions League and the possible creation of a European Super League, which could result in the current system of admissions being scrapped from 2018-19.

Elsewhere, Russian clubs missed out on the chance to claim a third Champions League place from France or Portugal.

The gap between the three leagues is very close, but last week Zenit St Petersburg were the last Russian club to be eliminated and Russia will remain below the rival leagues in seventh in the coefficient table.