Manchester City are in pole position to claim a place in next year's UEFA Cup after the Football Association was awarded an extra place in next season's competition.
European football's governing body today revealed that English teams had topped their Fair Play competition, meaning an extra place in the first qualifying round of the 2008-09 UEFA Cup.
The FA has confirmed the berth will be awarded to the highest-ranked side in the Premier League fair play table that has not qualified for Europe by other means.
City currently stand fifth in the fair play table, behind Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool - who are all already guaranteed a place in continental competition.
That means Sven-Goran Eriksson's team, with only a single league game remaining, stand on the brink of an unexpected European spot.
In the 162 European matches featuring English clubs that were watched by UEFA delegates between May 1 last year and April 30, 2008, Premier League sides achieved a Fair Play coefficient of 8.143.
The statistic is determined based on criteria such as positive play, respect of the opponent, respect of the referee, behaviour of the crowd and of the team officials, plus cautions and dismissals.
The seven other associations who achieved a coefficient above eight - Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Spain and France - will be entered into a draw for a further spot which will take place at the City of Manchester Stadium on May 13.