Last day nerves

Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal could all be involved in a Premier League playoff in order to decide who gains qualification into next year's Champions League.

The sides are 3rd, 4th and 5th, going into the final day of the season on Sunday with just 3 points separating the teams.

All 3 clubs have a similar enough points, goal difference and goals scored tallies that it could leave two of the sides inseparable after the 38th round of the Premier League.

Teams that finish on the same record with relegation, European qualification or league winners needing to be decided are required to play a 39th one off game.

The team who eventually finish the league in 3rd place will join Tottenham and Chelsea in an automatic entry to the Champions League group stage.

The 4th place club will qualify for the Champions League play-off round leaving the 5th place side in the Europa League.

The financial rewards of playing in even just the Champions League group stage are huge for a football club and can be crucial in attracting new players in the summer transfer market.

Premier League rules state that a playoff is required at the end of a season when there is a question of qualification to other competitions that can not be determined because 2 or more clubs are equal on points, goal difference and goals scored.

The various scenarios

There are many different ways that a playoff could occur each hanging of a knife edge of wins, losses, draws, goals scored and conceded.

We could see Manchester City against Liverpool for a third place duel. This could happen with a large 3 goal win for Liverpool combined with a high score draw from City.

A nightmare scenario could unfold with a Manchester and Arsenal clash. A big loss for City and a narrow win for Arsenal against Everton could leave the sides inseparable on 75 points each.

This event could be compounded with Liverpool needing a 3rd/4th or 4th/5th place play-off if Middlesbrough disrupt things at Anfield.

There could also be a simple shootout between Arsenal and Liverpool for the last Champions League place. For this to happen the Gunners would need to play out a 1-1 draw with Everton while Liverpool suffer a 2-0 loss at the hands of Middlesbrough. This would leave both teams inseparable on 73 points.

There are tens of permutations that could lead to a play-off many of which depends on silly losses and high scoring affairs.

The bet makers are looking on unfavourably at a playoff scenario unfolding with odds of 595-1, which are applied to a 3-3 draw for City and a 3-0 Liverpool win.