Play-off prospect is Blues headache as league rules out playing decider in US

Frank Dalleres
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CHELSEA could be forced to drastically rethink plans for their post-season American tour if they are drawn into a Premier League play-off with Arsenal for third place.

Any play-off would be likeliest to take place at Wembley next week, when the Blues are due to face Manchester City in back-to-back matches in St Louis, on Thursday, and New York, on Saturday.

A decision on the date and venue for a play-off rests with the Premier League and clubs are obliged to fall in line.

A deal for Wembley is not yet in place, but league chiefs have ruled out staging the play-off in the US, in a move that could have led to accusations of reviving the controversial 39th game concept via the back door.

Chelsea currently lie third but a draw against Everton on Sunday would allow Arsenal to draw level on points, goal difference and goals scored, if the Gunners beat Newcastle by one goal and score at least two.