Arsenal And Chelsea May Be Forced To Play Third-Place Play-Off Decider – Here’s How…
Arsenal beat Wigan 4-1 to reclaim fourth and set up the possibility that they may face Chelsea in a play-off for who finishes third. Here’s how it could happen
Arsenal reclaimed fourth place in the Premier League table on Tuesday night after a 4-1 win over Wigan Athletic saw them leapfrog north London rivals Tottenham back into the top-four.
The win not only put Arsene Wenger’s men back in the driving seat for fourth spot but it also set up the possibility that Arsenal and Chelsea may be forced into a play-off for who finishes third!
After last nights game, Chelsea now sit third on 72 points with a +35 goal difference while Arsenal are fourth on 70 points with a +34 goal difference. Should Rafa Benitez men draw 0-0 at home to Everton and Arsenal beat Newcastle 2-1 at St James’ Park on the final day of the season, both teams would finish on 73 points with +35 goal difference and they would also have scored the same number of goals (73).
In this exact scenario, the two London clubs would be forced to play a one-off game at a neutral venue to decide who finishes third and with it, automatically qualify for the Champions League. The loser would finish fourth and have to play a two-legged play-off in August to qualify for the group stages.
The Premier League confirmed on Tuesday night that the teams head-to-head record (Chelsea winning both home and away against Arsenal) this season doesn’t come in to effect, and it would be a play-off that would decide it should the unprecedented events occur.
While the scenario is highly unlikely to come to fruition, it is still a possibility, and if it does happen it will cause a complicated situation over when the crucial play-off game would take place.
Chelsea fly straight to the United States after Sunday’s match to play Man City in two friendlies on May 23rd and 25th before England play two friendlies against the ROI and Brazil on May 29th and June 2nd, so it leaves very little time for the play-off to be scheduled.
While it’s geared up to be an exciting final day in the fight for the top-four, the possibility of a third-placed play-off has added that little bit extra spice to the occasion.
How do you think the top four will look after Sunday’s games? Get involved in the comments section below.
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