Arsenal v Chelsea third place play-off: Date set for potential showdown

Villa Park will host match next Sunday in event the sides are level

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The Independent Football

Arrangements for a potential third-place play-off clash between Chelsea and Arsenal are well under-way with the Premier League today announcing that the match will be held at Villa Park should the scenario arise.

It has become a very realistic possibility that the two London clubs could finish the season level on points, goal difference and goals scored and, with the sides' head-to-head records bearing no influence, the problem would have to be resolved in the first ever third-place play-off in the Premier League's history.

Not wanting to be caught off-guard, the Premier League have already put plans in place for the extra game, for which the date has been confirmed as Sunday, May 26th , although the time has only be determined as 'early afternoon' at this point.

Tickets will be priced at £30 and £20 with concessions for children and senior citizens priced at a 50 per cent reduction.

A statement released by the Premier League read: "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.

"Discussions with London-based stadia did take place as part of that process of but limited availability and calendar restrictions, combined with the desire to use a large capacity ground that has experience in organising and delivering neutral matches, rendered Villa Park the most suitable choice.

"Further information, including ticketing details, will be disclosed by the Premier League and the two clubs on Monday 20 May should results require the match to take place."

In order for this scenario to become true, Arsenal must beat Newcastle by a one-goal margin while at the same time scoring two more goals than Chelsea, who in turn will have to be held to a draw by Everton.

Of course, all arrangements will become trivial should Chelsea win and secure the sought-after third spot and automatic entry into the Champions League group stages that comes with it.

Rafa Benitez's men will be desperate to do just that with the possibility of playing an additional game a very unwelcome prospect, especially considering the club's mega-money tour of America set to take place on May 23 and 25 - a trip that will be in jeopardy should the play-off situation arise.