Manchester City and Liverpool could face winner-takes-all playoff for the Champions League

The two teams are level on points and goal difference with just four matches remaining

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The Independent Football

Manchester City and Liverpool face the prospect of a winner-takes-all Champions League playoff on neutral ground at the end of the season.

City's draw at Middlesbrough on Sunday means that they are now level on points with the Reds, but also on goal difference. 

While Jurgen Klopp's men would currently edge out City on goals scored, it is Pep Guardiola's side who have the easier run-in and will be looking to make up those valuable five goals. 

Should they be finish the season level on points, goal difference and goals scored then the Premier League rules state that "they shall be deemed to occupy the same position in the table."

However, if the two are in fourth and fifth - fighting it out for the Champions League - then they must be split.

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Gabriel Jesus won City a point with a fine header (Getty)

Indeed, even if one finishes third and the other in fourth then there would need to be clarity on who faces a Champions League playoff in August and who enters directly into the group stage.

Here, Premier League rule C.17 comes into effect.

"If at the end of the season either the league champions of the clubs to be relegated or the question of qualification for other competitions cannot be determined because two or more clubs are equals on points, goal difference and goals scored, the clubs concerned shall play off one or more deciding league matches on neutral ground, the format, timing and venue of which shall be determined by the board."

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