Fulham poised for Europa League return

Fulham - Europa League finalists in 2010 - are well placed to be awarded a place in the competition for next season after England was allocated an extra spot in the tournament due to the UEFA Respect Fair Play ranking.

Despite finishing behind Norway in the table, second place was good enough for England to see the Premier League gain a fourth spot for the Europa league.

An entry to the qualification round on June 30 will be awarded to the team that wins their domestic top-tier fair play competitions.

The Cottagers are are second in the table behind Chelsea, who have already qualified for the Champions League. Tottenham Hotspur and Blackpool are also in the running, but Harry Redknapp's side could qualify for the Europa League outright through their league position, with Spurs currently fifth in the Premier League table, one point ahead of Liverpool.

The fair play standings take into account all matches played in UEFA competition at club and national team levels from May 1 2010 to April 30 2011.

As well as yellows and red cards, the standings take into account criteria such as respect for the opposition and referees, behaviour of crowds and team officals.

Fulham, currently eighth in the table, have not had anyone sent off this season. Blackpool, meanwhile, could still qualify for the tournament even if they are relegated.

Whichever team does qualify faces eight games before August 25 to qualify for the group stages.

By Colin O'Hanlon