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.
Oct 31, 2014, 12:13 AM EDT
After FC Dallas and the New York Red Bulls defeated their opponents in the first two games of the MLS playoffs, the postseason picture exists in its beginning stages.
Oct 30, 2014, 11:37 PM EDT
Robbie Keane stands ready to play for his international side right after the LA Galaxy’s playoff contests vs. Real Salt Lake.
Oct 30, 2014, 10:20 PM EDT
Final: New York Red Bulls 2, Sporting KC 1
Oct 30, 2014, 9:38 PM EDT
Men in Blazers preview Round 10, most notably the Manchester derby.
Oct 30, 2014, 8:36 PM EDT
Fernando Torres, expanding on his decision to leave Chelsea on loan, says he wanted to “feel important.”
Oct 30, 2014, 7:21 PM EDT
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is happy for the recent triumphs of criticized Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.
Oct 30, 2014, 6:35 PM EDT
Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney will be available in the upcoming Manchester derby following his three-match suspension.
Oct 30, 2014, 5:56 PM EDT
Action taken against alleged racist actions in the Scottish Premiership.
Oct 30, 2014, 4:44 PM EDT
Sturridge on injury woes: “Maybe it’s my body type, maybe it’s hereditary.”
Oct 30, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT
A young Messi was eyed by Juventus in 2005, says Russia manager Frank Capello.
Oct 30, 2014, 3:12 PM EDT
How has the soccer world (via Twitter) responded to the news? With a mixture of interest and humor.
Oct 30, 2014, 2:49 PM EDT
In what will be called “Los Angeles Football Club” as it goes through its branding, MLS has announced that L.A. has officially been awarded another team.
Oct 30, 2014, 2:25 PM EDT
So who do you have tonight: the Red Bulls or the champs?
Oct 30, 2014, 1:35 PM EDT
Mike Prindiville and Joe Prince-Wright join Jenna Corrado to discuss the Manchester Derby between Manchester United and Manchester City.
Oct 30, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT
Like Steve McQueen in “Papillon,” only nattily-attired, the Newcastle United manager just seems to be constantly yelling out, “Hey… I’m still here.”
Oct 30, 2014, 12:09 PM EDT
He’s being linked with Swansea City, though club chairman Huw Jenkins said while the club is entertaining investors, any specific names would be “pure speculation.”
Oct 30, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT
The proposed moves would leave only 10 days prep time before the World Cup began, and would also alter the UEFA Champions League schedule.
Oct 30, 2014, 10:40 AM EDT
What do you think? Mean-spirited to the public or just a decent Candid Camera-style prank?
Oct 30, 2014, 9:51 AM EDT
“I’ve got 30 and 34-year-olds in my locker room in tears because we feel it’s been unfairly taken away from us,” said coach Carl Robinson.
Oct 30, 2014, 9:02 AM EDT
And it’s claimed that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will sign a veteran back from Juventus, bucking his trends of signing attackers and youth.
- Los Angeles officially given new MLS team; Magic Johnson, Vincent Tan among investors 4
- PST Extra: Getting you ready for The Manchester Derby (video) 0
- European clubs propose later domestic Cup finals, April-May World Cup in 2022 4
- Rumors know no window: Liverpool after Reus, Manchester United wants Draxler 2
- VIDEO: Hugely-controversial call sees FC Dallas past Vancouver in playoffs. Your vote? 12
- Timbers’ Steve Zakuani announces retirement from professional soccer 3