This weekend the Premier League hosts its final set of matches for the season. But remarkably for the first time in its existence we may face the possibility of an additional game, a play-off.
With Tottenham Hotspur hot on the tails of their North London rivals Arsenal, only one point separating the London giants; we expect to be in for a thrilling climax to the season. Arsenal's seemingly yearly end of season surge has put their fate in their own hands, as they travel to St James' Park, whilst Spurs host Newcastle United's local rivals Sunderland.
The Gunners have however, the opportunity to leap frog Chelsea into third. But what may prove to be another fascinating scenario would be for the pair to finish on equal points, equal goal difference and equal goals scored.
If the newly crowned Europa League champions produce as stalemate at home to Everton and Arsene Wenger's men win 2-1 or if the Blues draw 1-1 and Arsenal win 3-2, the possibility will become reality.
All results sound likely. With an in-form Everton looking to bid David Moyes a fond farewell and Benitez's men maybe tired from their mid-week exertions, Chelsea could face a stern test.
While the Gunners' opponents claimed safety at relegated Queens Park Rangers last weekend and with the hosts’ form being worse than patchy this season, Arsenal can travel north in confident mood.
The prospect of a play-off for third at a neutral venue has been overshadowed but the fight for Champions League places but the proposal will see a first for the league. Back in 2010 the FA rejected the possibility of a 39th game abroad, initially suggested for intrinsic value. Chief executive Richard Scudamore said: "We got the hairdryer treatment from public opinion and therefore we kind of backed off it. I don't see it in our sights at all."
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech is opposed to the idea: "I don't really understand it. I know this is the rule, but we beat them twice over the course of the season - home and away."
With almost all positions sewn up, it is only Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur that have something to play for. No doubt the focus for Arsenal will be to cement Champions League football but the strong chance of a play-off for third will add more spice to the final games.
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