Villa Park has been penciled in as the destination of a potential third place playoff between Chelsea and Arsenal on May 26, reports The
If Chelsea were to draw their final game of the season against Everton at Stamford Bridge, and Arsenal won by a single goal having scored two more than Chelsea, the season would result in a dead heat between the two London clubs.
The playoff would be required if both clubs finished level on points, goal difference and goals scored as third place guarantees automatic qualification to the Champions League, whereas fourth place means qualifying matches would have to be played in the early stages of the season.
Wembley would be unable to host the playoff owing to the Champions League final taking place the day before, and Chelsea are presently scheduled to face Man City in New York on May 25 as well – but the Blues have promised the Premier League that any playoff requirements would be their priority, and arrangements would be made with those involved in the American match to either send a second team or pay compensation for dropping out at short notice.
The Premier League issued a statement saying: “Discussions with London-based stadia did take place as part of that process but limited availability and calendar restrictions, combined with wanting to use a large-capacity ground that has experience in organising and delivering neutral matches, meant Villa Park was the most suitable choice”
Chelsea face Everton at Stamford Bridge, while Arsenal make the long journey to the North East when they take on Newcastle at St. James’ Park.
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