Arsenal’s miraculous comeback in the league has been truly sensational. They are the most in form English team at present and for a long time it seemed impossible they would finish in the top four. In December they were even tenth in the League.
But now third place is a distinct possibility and with that brings automatic qualification for next season Champions League. The Gunners are two points off Chelsea and one goal behind on goal difference which means there may be a playoff in the balance should Arsenal win 2-1 over Newcastle and Chelsea draw 0-0 with Everton. The same would apply to any scoreline between the two clubs which adds a goal to all four teams: so 3-2 and 1-1 or 4-3 and 2-2.
Premier League rule C.14 states:
If at the end of the season either the League Champions or the clubs to be relegated or the question of qualification for other competitions cannot be determined because two or more clubs are equal on points, goal difference and goals scored, the clubs concerned shall play off one or more deciding league matches on neutral grounds, the format, timing and venue of which shall be determined by the board.
While there are discrepancies over the time and location of the playoff due to the UCL final, Chelsea’s moneymaking exhibition in the States and the various international breaks, Arsenal must relish the opportunity and beat Newcastle by a load of goals. Everton will give Chelsea a run for their money, especially as they faced Benfica in tonight’s Europa Cup final. Third place would be massive for Arsenal, not only does it mean they would not have to play the early qualifying matches for the Champions League but it would send a statement out for all possible transfer candidates that they are a top force in England. But at the end of the day a 1-0 victory over Newcastle would be sufficient, fourth place is minimum.
In other news for the Gunners, Arsenal’s official website have confirmed there will be an Emirates Cup pre-season tournament this year and it will be held on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th August.
Last years cup was called off due to the London Olympics, however this year we welcome Portuguese giants FC Porto, Serie A’s Napoli and Turkish champions (and former Gunner Eboue’s) Galatasaray.
You can read more about it here.