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It’s going to bring strange results, but it could still happen. If you think Sunday is definitely Liverpool’s last game. Think again?
The 2016/17 Premier League season is set to come to an end at Anfield on Sunday – but Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool could yet be required to return for a dramatic action.
If the Reds beat relegated Middlesbrough side they will be guaranteed a spot in the Champions League, but a 39th game might still have to be played to determine where they would finish.
Manchester City and Arsenal wining there matches on Tuesday night mean the slim chance of a play-off being held determine European qualification remains alive.
City, Liverpool and Arsenal are separated by three points going into the final round of matches.
But their goal difference and goals scored are close enough to raise the prospect of two of them finishing with identical records.
3: Manchester City 75pts +36 75 goals scored
4: Liverpool 73pts +33 75 goals scored
5: Arsenal 72pts +31 74 goals scored
With the third placed team going straight into the group stage of the Champions League, the fourth placed side entering at the play-off round and the fifth placed club facing Europa League football the stakes are high.
The EPL rules state: “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, venue and timing of which shall be determined by the board.”
How could it happen?
It would need the Citizens to be involved in a serious draw at Watford, while the Reds give Middlesbrough a thrashing. For example, if Pep Guardiola’s side drew 3-3 and Liverpool won 3-0 or if City drew 4-4- and Klopp’s men won 4-1.
If this is what happens Liverpool and City would face a play-off to sort out who goes straight into the group stages of the Champions League and who heads for a play-off.
For this to happen, the Anfield giants would need to lose 2-0 to Middlesbrough and the Gunners draw 1-1 at home to Everton.
The Reds and Arsenal would also have same records if Arsene Wenger’s men drew 2-2 and Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield.
Smart gamblers predict that City will win at Watford and if that’s the case then Liverpool simply need to beat Boro by any goal to tie Arsenal to fourth place.