Premier League: How teams are divided when tied on points and goal difference, and the possibility of a play-off.

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The Premier League title race is heating up as Arsenal and Liverpool are currently tied at the top of the table, with Manchester City following closely behind by just one point with seven games left to play. So, what happens if teams finish level on points at the end of the season? The Premier League handbook states that in the event of two clubs being tied, a play-off on neutral ground would determine the winner, with the details being decided by the Premier League board. This raises the possibility of a play-off match taking place at Wembley, although the specific location is not outlined in the rulebook.

The prospect of a play-off match at a neutral ground brings up logistical challenges, particularly considering the potential scheduling conflicts with other competitions. Liverpool may be involved in the Europa League final, while Manchester City may have commitments in the FA Cup final and the Champions League final. With these events taking place in close proximity to the end of the Premier League season, the possibility of fitting in a play-off becomes a real dilemma for organizers. Despite the anticipation of a potential play-off match, Arsenal currently hold the advantage in the event of a tie, as they are leading the league on goal difference.

This situation mirrors Manchester City’s triumph over Manchester United in the 2011/12 season where they edged their rivals on goal difference. And with Arsenal having favorable results against both Liverpool and Manchester City, the current top three teams have already completed their matches against each other, further solidifying Arsenal’s position at the top. As the title race intensifies, the relegation battle also presents a close competition, with Nottingham Forest currently holding a slight advantage over Luton on goal difference. However, Luton has scored more goals and has the potential to close the gap in goal difference, which could ultimately decide their fate in the Premier League.

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