How Premier League UCL spots could end in three-way play-off

The door has been left ajar for an unprecedented three-way Premier League play-off for the remaining two UEFA Champions League spots, after Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal all claimed impressive victories over the weekend.

Coutinho Aguero Sanchez

(Left to right) Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho, Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez Source: Getty Images

Champions Chelsea and runners-up Tottenham Hotspur have wrapped up the top-two automatic UCL spots, with third and fourth place still up for grabs. 

The chance of a play-off for fourth place between Arsenal and Liverpool has been widely discussed, with the possibility of the two sides finishing level on points, goal difference and goals scored, already being mooted.

But as the Premier League heads towards a dramatic final round, it now appears as though City could also finish equal with Arsenal and Liverpool to set up an incredible three-way tie.

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The Premier League rules state: "if at the end of the season either the league champions or the clubs to be relegated or the question of qualification for other competitions cannot be determined because two or more clubs are equal on points, goal difference and goals scored, the clubs concerned shall play off one or more deciding league matches on neutral grounds, the format, timing and venue of which shall be determined by the board."

Premier League table


So you're probably asking - how far-fetched will the results need to be to send the 2016-17 Premier League season into an unlikely 39th round?

Well it's far from impossible and here are the exact results needed, over the last six days, to send us into a three-way play-off for the third (automatic) and fourth (qualifying) UCL spots:

Liverpool (Third, PTS 73, GD 33, GF 75)

Liverpool 0-1 Middlesbrough

Manchester City (Fourth, PTS 72, GD 34, GF 72)

Manchester City 2-2 West Bromwich Albion 

Watford 3-1 Manchester City

Arsenal (Fifth, PTS 69, GD 29, GF 72)

Arsenal 3-0 Sunderland

Arsenal 0-0 Everton

If all these results eventuate, all three sides would finish on 73 points, with a goal difference of 32 and goals for of 75, with a three-way play-off for third and fourth place respectively to take place, at a neutral venue.

Premier League table predictor


The unprecedented play-off, which would be scheduled after the final round of Premier League fixtures on May 22 (AEST), would in turn impact Liverpool's clash with A-League champions Sydney FC on Wednesday May 24 at ANZ Stadium.



Meanwhile, Manchester United, who are now out of top-four Premier League contention, will also qualify for the UCL next season if they defeat Ajax in the UEFA Europa final on May 25 (AEST).


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2 min read
Published 15 May 2017 at 12:28pm
By Patrick Nugent