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What happens if Manchester United and City finish on the same points and goal difference in the Premier League this season?

AFTER five games of the 2017-18 Premier League season, Manchester City and Manchester United are separated only by the alphabet. Following their opening quintet of fixtures both clubs have 13 points, have a goal difference of +14 and have scored 16 times. In fact, with no other determining factors to play with, Pep Guardiola‘s City […]

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AFTER five games of the 2017-18 Premier League season, Manchester City and Manchester United are separated only by the alphabet.

Following their opening quintet of fixtures both clubs have 13 points, have a goal difference of +14 and have scored 16 times.

Man City currently sit top of the Premier League… on alphabetical order
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Man United are currently second, despite having an identical record to City
Man United are currently second, despite having an identical record to City
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In fact, with no other determining factors to play with, Pep Guardiola‘s City are handed the No1 spot purely based on the fact City comes before United in the dictionary.

But what would happen if the two clubs – or any two clubs, in fact – finished the season with an absolutely identical record?

According to league rules and regulations, the teams involved in the deadlock would play an additional “play-off” match at a neutral venue – much like a cup final.

The Premier League 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.”

While it is incredibly unlikely the law will ever have to be enforced, this City-United deadlock is already an intriguing prospect.

After all, this is only the second time in Premier League history two teams have boasted an identical record outside of August.

Watford 0-6 Manchester City: Sergio Aguero scores hat-trick and Gabriel Jesus also on target as Pep Guardiola’s men go top
Man City thumped Watford 6-0 away in their last Premier League game
Man City thumped Watford 6-0 away in their last Premier League game
EPA
Manchester United 4-0 Everton: Antonio Valencia’s rasping volley and Romelu Lukaku’s late goal spoil Wayne Rooney’s return to Old Trafford

The only other instance of this happening came incredibly late into the season - in January - back in the 2014-15 season.

That year, Chelsea and Man City were tied up after 20 games - both with 46 points, 44 goals scored and 19 goals conceded - for a +25 goal difference.

That season, Jose Mourinho's Blues pulled clear to win the Premier League title by a massive eight points.

Now check out the seven biggest talking points from this weekend's Premier League action, including Roy Hodgson, Arsenal and the two Manchester clubs.

Man United tore Everton apart 4-0 at Old Trafford at the weekend
Man United tore Everton apart 4-0 at Old Trafford at the weekend
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Weekend Round-Up: Watch the best Premier League action from Friday, Saturday and Sunday
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Football

Diego Simeone’s representatives ‘contact Everton over manager’s role’ fuelling speculation that he could be set to leave Atletico Madrid

DIEGO SIMEONE has been linked once again with the Everton job after news the Atletico Madrid manager’s representatives reportedly contacted the Toffees about the vacant manager’s position. According to reports, the 47-year-old’s team have been in contact with the Everton board over the vacant berth on Merseyside, after Ronald Koeman was sacked a month ago. It […]

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DIEGO SIMEONE has been linked once again with the Everton job after news the Atletico Madrid manager’s representatives reportedly contacted the Toffees about the vacant manager’s position.

According to reports, the 47-year-old’s team have been in contact with the Everton board over the vacant berth on Merseyside, after Ronald Koeman was sacked a month ago.

The wheels appear to be coming off for Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid
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It had been widely reported Everton were the ones in contact with Simeone, but now it seems the truth was it was the other way around.

Simeone’s tenure in the Spanish capital appears to be coming to an end, with the club stagnating under a transfer embargo and the fans booing their star striker.

Atletico drew 0-0 with rivals Real Madrid over the weekend and look highly unlikely to progress in the Champions League after falling behind Chelsea and AS Roma in Group C.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Everton were contacted by the Argentinian’s representatives, as he looks like he has his eye on a sensational move to the Premier League.

Diego Simeone's representatives reportedly contacted Everton over their vacant manager's job
Diego Simeone’s representatives reportedly contacted Everton over their vacant manager’s job
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Diego Simeone and Antoine Griezmann have a chat as the striker goes yet another game without a goal
Diego Simeone and Antoine Griezmann have a chat as the striker goes yet another game without a goal
Reuters

The thought of highly-rated Simeone managing in the opposite dugout to Jurgen Klopp in a Merseyside derby is a mouthwatering prospect.

The former Inter Milan, Lazio and Atletico midfielder had appeared to suggest star forward Antoine Griezmann could be on his way out of the Wanda Metropolitano after scoring just four goals so far this term.


NEIGH BOTHER Cop tumbles off horse as it struggles with steps at Madrid derby


Diego Costa is also coming in for the club in January after leaving Chelsea, but there will be question marks over his fitness from the off.

But Simeone did back Griezmann ahead of their clash with Roma.

Ronald Koeman was sacked as Everton manager a month ago
Ronald Koeman was sacked as Everton manager a month ago
Rex Features

He said: “It is normal that he is worried.

“He needs a goal. It has been many games since he scored, he’s had chances but when he doesn’t score, he suffers, as do the team and the fans.

“We have to give him confidence and calm. At some point it will all return to normal.”

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Champions League

Champions League: All five English clubs are favourites to top their groups – but they may not be happy with result

ALL of England’s Champions League contenders go into the final round of matches in pole position to top their groups. But their joy could well be short lived if they look at what’s in store for them. Manchester United, City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham are all sitting pretty and, should, ensure a first-place finish and […]

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ALL of England’s Champions League contenders go into the final round of matches in pole position to top their groups.

But their joy could well be short lived if they look at what’s in store for them.

Tottenham stunned Real Madrid to fire themselves into pole position – leaving the giants unseeded for the knock-out stages
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Manchester United, City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham are all sitting pretty and, should, ensure a first-place finish and theoretically an easier draw.

But Spurs’ run has thrown up a huge potential road block for their Premier League rivals in defending champions Real Madrid.

Los Blancos have been struggling for form this season but their 6-0 demolition of Apoel Nicosia proved they are starting to click.

And with ex-Spurs flier Gareth Bale likely to be fit for the knock-out stages – barring another major set-back – Zinedine Zidane’s team will be increasingly dangerous.

The reward for topping your Champions league group could be to face Cristiano Ronaldo
AP:Associated Press
Cesc Fabregas celebrates after helping Chelsea past Qarabag
Reuters

As it stands, German giants Bayern Munich, beaten finalists Juventus and in-form Roma are all potential opponents for Spurs, who cannot face Real.

And if the tables remain if they are, the unseeded runners-up pool is arguably far stronger than the group winners.


JOB NOT DONE Basel 1 Man Utd 0: Late goal for hosts keeps Red Devils waiting to seal Champions League group stage qualification


United are unlikely to slip into second as they would need to be turned over by CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford, with Basel topping Benfica.

Tottenham are all-but guaranteed top spot as they prepare to welcome Apoel to Wembley, while City have already topped their group.

Manchester United blew the chance to secure top spot after losing to Basel
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Jurgen Klopp was fuming at Liverpool players after blowing 3-0 lead in Spain
Jurgen Klopp was fuming at Liverpool players after blowing 3-0 lead in Spain
AP:Associated Press

Chelsea and Liverpool have the biggest chance of being knocked from their perch.

The Reds are just a point ahead of Sevilla but have a decent tie at home to Spartak Moscow.

Antonio Conte’s Blues host fired-up Atletico Madrid who need a victory and Roma to slip up against Qarabag to progress afetr they beat the Italians last night.

 

 

 

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Explainers

Copa Libertadores final: Gremio vs Lanus live stream, kick-off time and TV channel for the first leg

GREMIO take on Lanus as they look to win the Copa Libertadores for the first time since 1995. The Brazilians have made it to their first final in ten years after beating Barcelona, of Ecuador, 3-1 on aggregate in the semi-final. A 3-0 win in Guayaquil was enough to put Renato Gaucho’s side out of […]

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GREMIO take on Lanus as they look to win the Copa Libertadores for the first time since 1995.

The Brazilians have made it to their first final in ten years after beating Barcelona, of Ecuador, 3-1 on aggregate in the semi-final.

Gremio host Lanus as they look to win the Copa Libertadores for the first time since 1995
AFP or licensors

A 3-0 win in Guayaquil was enough to put Renato Gaucho’s side out of site and ensure a 1-0 loss at home in the second leg was purely academic.

Argentines Lanus made it to their first ever final in more dramatic fashion, losing 1-0 away to River Plate and then finding themselves 2-0 down at home after 23 minutes of the second leg.

But Jorge Almiron’s side then scored four goals without reply to sensationally secure their place in the final.

When is Gremio vs Lanus?

Gremio host Lanus on Wednesday, November 22.

The match will kick off at 11.45pm GMT.

That’s 9.45pm in Porto Alegre and 8.45pm in Buenos Aires.

It will take place at the Arena do Gremio.

What TV channel is Gremio vs Lanus on?

Gremio vs Lanus will not be on television in the UK.

But you can keep up to date with the biggest stories from the match on SunSport.

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