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What results need to happen to force a Champions League play-off between Liverpool and Arsenal?

A series of results means it is possible for both powerhouses to collide on a neutral ground for the final European spot

Liverpool and Arsenal could be the first teams to compete in a Premier League play-off for the fourth Champions League spot.

The Gunners’ 2-0 win at Southampton last night kept Arsene Wenger’s hopes of a 21st successive spot in Europe’s elite competition alive.

Arsenal's win over Southampton has set up the possibility for a Premier League Champions League play-off

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Arsenal’s win over Southampton has set up the possibility for a Premier League Champions League play-off

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City sit in a good position, one point off third-placed Liverpool with a game in hand.

United’s chances of breaking their way in are all-but gone after Sunday’s 2-0 loss at Arsenal – although they are now in with a chance of Champions League qualification after reaching the final of the Europa League.

Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Saints on Sunday leaves Jurgen Klopp sweating when he could have been within touching distance of Champions League qualification.

Now, if Arsenal win their three remaining games and the Reds fail to clinch three points in each of their last two, the Gunners will qualify.

But the possibility of a 39th Prem fixture for both clubs remains.

Liverpool drew 0-0 with Southampton on Sunday to put their Champions League place in jeopardy

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Liverpool drew 0-0 with Southampton on Sunday to put their Champions League place in jeopardy

Arsene Wenger could yet clinch a 21st successive Champions League qualification spot

PA:Press Association
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Arsene Wenger could yet clinch a 21st successive Champions League qualification spot

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be sweating after seeing his side draw against Southampton

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be sweating after seeing his side draw against Southampton

The league’s 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, timing and venue of which shall be determined by the board.”

Put simply, if Arsenal and Liverpool finish on the same points, goal difference and goals scored, they play each other on a neutral ground, the winner of which will secure Champions League football.

A look at the table shows the Gunners are just THREE goals behind the Anfield club.

Arsenal need seven points from their last three games, with Liverpool picking up just three, to force a Champions League play-off

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Arsenal need seven points from their last three games, with Liverpool picking up just three, and the Gunners making up the goals deficit, to force a Champions League play-off

Should both teams win their remaining games, Liverpool will finish ONE point above Arsenal.

But if Klopp’s side pick up three points in their remaining two games, and Wenger’s team takes seven from their final three, with the Gunners making up the goals deficit, it’s game on.

The same situation can occur for clubs in the relegation zone.

Hull manager Marco Silva could see his side participate in a relegation play-off... but it is unlikely

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Hull manager Marco Silva could see his side participate in a relegation play-off… but it is unlikely

For example, should Hull finish on the same points, goal difference and goals scored as Swansea, the two will go head-to-head for Prem survival.

But the chances look far slimmer on the bottom half of the table.

One thing is for sure – we could be in for the most dramatic finale yet.

Tuesday Premier League match preview featuring Arsenal v Sunderland and Man City v West Brom