The Mirror have very astutely pointed out that if Liverpool and Manchester City are tied on points, goal difference and goals scored at the end of the season, then a one-off play-off could ensue.
Liverpool and Manchester City are level on points and goal difference with four games of the season left and this might have huge repercussions for the Reds’ chances of Champions League qualification.
Well, that’s exaggerating things just a wee bit.
In order for a play-off to be necessary come the end of the season, both sides will need to be level on points, goal difference and goals scored and in fourth and fifth respectively which would require one of Arsenal and Manchester United to leapfrog both.
With just four games left, you can see why this is unlikely and yet, given how this Premier League season has gone, I wouldn’t rule it out entirely.
According to The Mirror, Premier League rule C.17 states, “If at the end of the season either the league champions of the clubs to be relegated or the question of qualification for other competitions cannot be determined because two or more clubs are equals on points, goal difference and goals scored, the clubs concerned shall play off one or more deciding league matches on neutral ground, the format, timing and venue of which shall be determined by the board.”
Once again, the exaggeration continues as it would require Liverpool and Manchester City to not only be fifth and fourth respectively but level on points, goal difference and goals scored.
It is incredibly unlikely that they would end their seasons on such level terms. They would quite literally need to match each other’s results between now and the end of the season.
With Arsenal and Manchester United locking horns on Sunday, it’s unlikely that either is about to leapfrog either Liverpool or Manchester City, let alone both.
For the time being, Liverpool needs to focus on getting the job done at Watford. With a win at Vicarage Road, the Reds can be confident of a successful finish in the top four which will allow Jürgen Klopp to go about his summer recruitment in relative peace.