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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 17, 2013

Villa Park primed for third-place play-off

The Premier League has announced that a possible third-place play-off between Chelsea and Arsenal will take place at Villa Park on May 26.

• Dall: Spotlight
• Arsenal blog
• Chelsea blog

Should the scenario arise, the Blues' tour match against Manchester City in the USA scheduled for the day before could jeopardised.

The play-off will only take place if results on Sunday mean the two London clubs are equal on points, goal difference and goals scored.

A Premier League statement said: "Should a play-off be necessary the Premier League has made arrangements for a single match to take place at Villa Park on Sunday 26 May 2013.

"The match will take place early afternoon with a kick-off time to be confirmed should results require the match to go ahead."

Chelsea are due to play City twice in the USA - with the second match at New York's Yankee stadium on May 25, the day before the play-off date.

The Premier League statement says both the clubs have been consulted. It states: "In the event of results in the Chelsea v Everton and Newcastle v Arsenal Barclays Premier League matches being a Chelsea draw, and an Arsenal win by a single-goal margin having scored two more than Chelsea, both teams would be level on points, goal difference and goals scored.

"Under Premier League Rules this would lead to a play-off being required to decide which club finishes third and fourth, thereby determining which club enters the UEFA Champions League at the group stage and which at the play-off stage.

"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 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."

Tickets will be allocated equally between each club and will be priced at £20 and £30 with concessions for children and senior citizens priced at a 50% reduction.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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