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Arsenal and Chelsea To Play First Ever Play-Off?

Arsenal and Chelsea have been battling it out throughout the season for the UEFA Champions League spots, and the sides may have to have one final showdown against each other if the results in the final round of fixtures line up.

Metro reveals that according to the rules decided by UEFA and complied by the Premier League, the side that stands 3rd at the end of the season automatically qualifies for the group stage of the Champions League for the following season. Meanwhile, the side in the 4th place has to play a pre-group stage qualifying round, which will determine its participation in the group.

As one can see in the Barclays Premier League table, Chelsea and Arsenal are locked in to fight for the 3rd place. As it stands, Chelsea are in 3rd place with 72 points and a goal difference of 35. Arsenal, on the other hand, stand in 4th place with 70 points and a goal difference of 34.

Chelsea face Everton at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, while Arsenal face Newcastle United, away at St. James Park. Let’s say Arsenal beat Newcastle 2-1, and Everton manage to hold the Blues for a 0-0 draw. In that case, both sides will be on 73 points, and a goal difference of 35. Also, the goals scored by both sides will be the same, which leaves no scope for differentiating one over the other.

According to the rules of the Premier League, determination of qualification for a competition based on places is decided by a play-off match played between the two sides after the completion of the season. This means, Chelsea and Arsenal will have to play an additional play-off round post 19th May at a neutral venue.

Call it coincidence, but Chelsea already have post season friendlies planned in the United States, one of which is against Manchester City.

If the Blues do not manage to postpone the fixture, the play-off will be played after the 25th of May, when the Champions League final takes place at Wembley between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

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