England could be set to lose their fourth spot in Champions League

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Juventus beat Man City in the Champions League on Tuesday night
Juventus beat Man City in the Champions League on Tuesday night

The Premier League could be set to suffer a huge blow as they are on course to lose their prized fourth place in the Champions League to Italy's Serie A.

England's top clubs were the dominant players in European football at the back end of the last decade, but a slide in fortunes in recent years has seen the Premier League drop to third place in the UEFA rankings behind Spain's La Liga and Germany's Bundesliga.

With only three leagues handed a quartet of places in the Champions League, the continued failings of English clubs in UEFA's two competitions is about to cost them dear.

This is the latest UEFA co-efficient ranking,which has been updated in a week when Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City all lost their opening Champions League group matches.

Juventus' run to last season's Champions League final has bolstered Italy's co-efficient ranking, while the failure of English clubs to embrace the Europa League competition is also having a negative effect on their ranking.

No English team was present in the quarter-finals of either the Champions League or the Europa League last season and with results the 2011/12 season (when Chelsea won the Champions League) soon to slide off the UEFA rankings system, Serie A is primed to overtake the Premier League.

If England are reduced to just three Champions League clubs, the team finishing third in the Premier League would be included in the play-off round, meaning there would only be two teams guaranteed a place in the group stages.