May 15, 2013, 8:40 AM EDT
Just when we thought everything had been settled, the Premier League hit us with this beauty this morning.
The EPL confirmed that there will be a third-place play-off match between Chelsea and Arsenal, if the two sides finish with an identical record.
That could likely happen with one game left to play in the season. If Chelsea draw 0-0 with Everton and Arsenal win 2-1 at Newcastle on Sunday, the clubs will finish level on points, goals scored and goal differential.
Such a tie has never occurred in EPL history.
The reason why this is such a big deal, is that the club who finish in third-place get an automatic spot in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. While the side that finish in fourth have to qualify for the group stages.
Of course, Chelsea have the advantage going into the final weekend of EPL action. The Blues are at home against Everton and could be on a high, depending on the result of this afternoon’s Europa League final against Benfica in Amsterdam. However, Arsenal travel to struggling Newcastle United, knowing that a win would secure their place in the top four ahead of bitter North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
So, what are the odds of this incredibly unlikely scenario happening?
Well I predict that Chelsea will beat Everton and the whole factor will be a non-issue. However, the Toffees will be playing their final game under David Moyes and won’t want to go out with a whimper. It is conceivable that Everton will be hard to break down and after a grueling European Cup final just days before, Chelsea’s players may be jaded and put in a below par performance.
Arsenal have not lost in nine games. Winning seven and drawing the other two. You would think a win against Newcastle is a certainty.
Either way, it is great to have one matter unresolved on the final day of the EPL season. A straight play-off for third after the season has finished would be a delightful bonus, before the long EPL-less summer ensues.
Apr 20, 2014, 11:05 PM EDT
It’s actually amazing how quickly she regroups — in an instant — after getting blasted.
Quick Six: Liverpool inches closer, Moyes’ reception, and the rest of the headlines from the BPL weekend
Apr 20, 2014, 10:40 PM EDT
Mourinho changes his communications style, while Villa tried to secure its sale.
Apr 20, 2014, 10:07 PM EDT
No one would blame Evra for ignoring Suarez’s season, but it really is a strong nod to the Frenchman’s class.
Apr 20, 2014, 9:18 PM EDT
Blackpool: Where dozens of tangerines and tennis balls on the pitch are second in weirdness to a coach striking his own player
Apr 20, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT
The Magpies have been brutal, and manager Alan Pardew’s return from suspension could require a job-saving performance.
Apr 20, 2014, 7:36 PM EDT
Plenty of notable names remain in question for Miguel Herrera.
Apr 20, 2014, 6:41 PM EDT
Bedoya’s fifth Ligue 1 goal was part of a 6-2 win.
Apr 20, 2014, 5:45 PM EDT
Atletico Madrid is now 3 wins away from its first La Liga title since 1996, while Barcelona and Real Madrid can only hope for big mistakes
Apr 20, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT
The Timbers fell to 0-3 on the road this season with Saturday’s 1-0 loss, complicating an already head-scratching start to the year that has Portland in second-to-last place out West at 0W-3L-4T.
Apr 20, 2014, 4:21 PM EDT
How many Americans could find themselves in the UEFA Champions League next season?
Apr 20, 2014, 3:29 PM EDT
Arlo White and Graeme Le Saux break down how having a clear identity continues to push Everton above teams while Manchester United’s lack of an identity continues to hurt the team.
Apr 20, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT
With domestic success and European disappointment, Paris Saint-Germain has decided to extend Blanc’s contract and the manager says it will be finalized in the coming days.
Apr 20, 2014, 2:53 PM EDT
After Toffees do the double over United, Martinez praises Moyes work and his own side:
Apr 20, 2014, 2:40 PM EDT
Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling combined for Liverpool’s second goal, and video showed it wasn’t a fluke they knew exactly where their teammate was going to be.
Apr 20, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT
Everton’s old boss the villain on return to Goodison, as pastures new prove to be a nightmare:
Apr 20, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT
With the cheekiest of chips, Dimitar Berbatov sent Monaco to the Champions League with his winner against Nice.
Apr 20, 2014, 1:09 PM EDT
Randy Lerner released a pretty useless statement on the Villa website today, refusing to rule out a sale of the club which has been reported in recent days.
Apr 20, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT
Nightmare return for Moyes, as Everton do double over United for first time since 1970:
Apr 20, 2014, 12:35 PM EDT
The US Soccer Federation president talks USWNT coaching search, men’s World Cup goals, and MLS growth with NBC’s John Strong.
Apr 20, 2014, 12:04 PM EDT
Red Devils rocking, as Everton come out flying:
- Quick Six: Liverpool inches closer, Moyes’ reception, and the rest of the headlines from the BPL weekend 0
- WATCH: Blackpool coach sent off after hitting own player in face 0
- Report: Majority of Mexico’s World Cup roster slots are set 0
- Americans Abroad Review: Bedoya buries one, Boyd bags brace 1
- David Moyes vilified on return to Everton, as Manchester United nightmare continues 1
- Everton 2-0 Manchester United: Toffees rampant in miserable return for Moyes 1