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Villa Park Named As Premier League Third-Place Playoff Venue, If Needed

villa park Villa Park Named As Premier League Third Place Playoff Venue, If Needed

Aston Villa’s Villa Park has been selected as the venue for the Premier League third-place playoff match, if the game will be necessary after Sunday to determine which team will finish third in the league this season.

If after Sunday’s Premier League matches Chelsea and Arsenal find themselves level on points, goal difference and goals scored in the Premier League table, a third-place playoff match – the first time in the history of the Premier League – will be necessary. The game would be played on Sunday, May 26 and, for viewers in the United States, would presumably be shown live on FOX Soccer.

Chelsea currently sit two points ahead of Arsenal in the league table. In order to necessitate a third-place playoff, Chelsea would have to draw against Everton on Sunday and Arsenal would have to defeat Newcastle United by a single goal while scoring two more than Chelsea.

For example, if Chelsea draw Everton nil-nil, Arsenal must win 2-1. If Chelsea draw 1-1, Arsenal must win 3-2, and so on.

The reason that there’s such an emphasis placed on third place versus third place in the Premier League is because, while both teams qualify for the UEFA Champions League, the fourth place team has to play in the qualification round in the summer, while the top three teams in the Premier League enter at the group stage, typically in September.

The Premier League has consulted with the two clubs throughout the process of planning for this potential match with all parties in agreement that, should it be required, it should take place as soon as possible after the end of the season,” said a statement on the league website. “Discussions with London-based stadia did take place as part of that process but limited availability and calendar restrictions, combined with the desire to use a large capacity ground that has experience in organizing and delivering neutral matches, rendered Villa Park the most suitable choice.”

The question of a third-place playoff match could be rendered meaningless if Tottenham Hotspur pip Arsenal to fourth place. That would happen if Arsenal draws or loses against Newcastle United, and Tottenham beats Sunderland at White Hart Lane.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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8 Responses to Villa Park Named As Premier League Third-Place Playoff Venue, If Needed

  1. trickybrkn says:

    If it happens those post season friendlies will look even more stupid for Chelsea. They played what 70 matches so far this season, why not 2 more 3000 miles away. Fly back to play Saturday night and play Sunday. perfect plan.

    Just don’t understand why they are playing these games. Neither club needs money… and both are pretty established brands in the US.

    • No issues at all.

      1. Roman A. will “make sure” that there will be no playoff.

      2. In case “Plan A” above were to fail, then Chelsea will send a reserve side to the friendlies. Roman A. will simply have to pay fines to the promoters (i.e. Yankees) for not sending the regulars to the U.S.

  2. saywhat says:

    I would imagine the Saturday match at Yankee Stadium would be cancelled if they need to play a playoff on the sunday?

  3. San Franciscan says:

    There won’t be a playoff.

  4. David says:

    I’m surprised no one is mentioning another scenario. If Spurs win and Chelsea lose then they will both have the same points but Chelsea will finish above Spurs because at the moment Chelsea have a +16 goal difference over Spurs. What if that +16 goal difference is erased? Highly unlikely but mathematically still possible.

    Spurs did beat Wigan 9-0 not long ago so it’s not beyond them to get a huge win. Can Everton beat Chelsea by a big margin? Probably not, but with Chelsea showing tiredness they could lose and make this scenario something to watch for. I wonder what the bookies are giving for this scenario?

    I think Arsenal fans are going to be sweating on Sunday because Newcastle are going to make life very difficult for them and the longer the game goes with Arsenal not ahead the more drama there will be. Cannot wait for Sunday. There’s bound to be some twists and turns.

  5. David says:

    If this happens why are they making both sets of fans travel all the way to Birmingham when they could have scheduled it in a neutral ground in London? What about Wembley or Olympic Park? Lots of other London grounds to choose from as well.

    • The Gaffer says:

      The article references that the Premier League tried to find a suitable venue in London, but none were available that met their criteria.

      Wembley is choc-a-block with playoff finals. And Olympic Park isn’t ready.

      The Gaffer

  6. David says:

    I’m praying for a playoff. That will make for a wonderful Memorial weekend for soccer viewing. Saturday it’s the Champions League final. Sunday it will be the 3rd place playoff. Monday it’s the Championship playoff final. What a way to end the season.

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