Certain Spurs and Arsenal results could force fourth place play-off scenario

Premier League Trophy
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

The race for the final spot in the Premier League top four is still in full force, with less than one month of the campaign remaining. 

Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United and West Ham have all occupied fourth place at different points of the season but with five games left to play, it has developed into a race between both North London sides. 

Currently, it is Arsenal that hold a two-point lead ahead of Spurs, whose recent dropped points against Brighton and Brentford have left them narrowly behind in fifth. 

But while there is still a decent amount of football left to be played, including the North London derby, there is an unlikely scenario where both sides could face each other again in an end-of-season play-off to decide who claims a place in next term’s Champions League. 

Premier League regulations state that if two sides end the campaign level on points, goal difference, goals scored and hold identical head-to-head records, they must both play a one-off fixture as a decider at a neutral venue. 

Spurs boast a superior goal difference of 18 over the Gunners’ 12 at present, but a specific set of results across the next few weeks could trigger a play-off, as worked out by Twitter user AFC_Richard. 

Antonio Conte’s side would have to achieve 2-1 wins over Leicester and Arsenal either side of a 3-0 defeat to Liverpool, before earning 1-0 victories against Burnley and Norwich respectively. 

From Arsenal’s perspective, they would need to record back-to-back 3-0 wins against West Ham and Leeds before but lose next month’s derby 2-1 to Spurs. 

They would also have to draw 1-1 in their trip to Newcastle before claiming a 2-0 win at home to Everton on the final day. 

The results would place both sides on 70 points with a goal difference of 19 having netted 62 times each, while their head-to-head record would also be equal considering it is based on points earned then away goals instead of aggregate.

With Spurs and Arsenal tipped to earn three points against each other while netting once away from home, the final option would be to settle the score via a play-off at the pinnacle of the campaign.

Spurs Web Opinion 

While it is very unlikely that a play-off will be needed to determine who reaches the Champions League, this would be an awful scenario to have to endure. 

Both Spurs and Arsenal have been up and down throughout the season so it is inevitable that there will be more changes along the way, but the results wouldn’t be completely unrealistic either. 

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