Arsenal and Chelsea could be set for an end-of season play-off to decide which team gets an automatic spot in the Champions League group stages next season.
That's because the two teams have a very realistic chance of finishing level on points in the Premier League: if the Gunners win 2-1 at Newcastle and Chelsea draw 0-0 at home to Everton on the final day, the teams would be level on points, goal difference and goals scored.
That would make the clubs joint third and Arsenal and Chelsea would have to face a play-off for the automatic Champions League qualification spot, with the loser having to go into the preliminary rounds in the summer.
Scheduling the match would be a huge headache for the Premier League, since Chelsea have an end-of-season tour to the USA to play friendlies against Manchester City next week, and then there are England friendlies on May 29 against the Republic of Ireland and then in Brazil on June 2.
Neither club would want the season to stretch into June, but the play-off regulation is part of Premier League rules.
They state: "If at the end of the season... 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."