By 90Min
March 04, 2019

Over in the USA, where the NBA's regular season is nearing its conclusion, the teams with the best record in either the Eastern or Western conference don't end up winning the championship. Instead, the eight best teams from each conference meet in the playoffs, where they get matched up in terms of their seedings, and then face off in a best of seven series. So the team seeded first will face the team seeded eighth, and so on.

Eventually, you get the champions of both conferences meeting in-a-winner-takes-all for the NBA title (again, in a best of seven series).

The current Premier League format is all well and good, but what if it was decided like the NBA playoffs? The current top eight would square off based on their seedings, with the elimination-style series eventually narrowing it down to the final two. Which sides would make it to the Premier League 'Finals', and who would be crowned champions? Find out below.


Play-Off Teams Seedings
Manchester City 1
Liverpool 2
Tottenham 3
Manchester United 4
Arsenal 5
Chelsea 6
Wolves 7
Watford 8

Round One: Manchester City (1) vs Watford (8)

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Perhaps the most one-sided series in the entire playoffs, City would undoubtedly be favourites to complete a clean sweep and swiftly progress into the semi-finals. The only real concern here would be if Pep Guardiola's side lull themselves into complacency, but even then the Hornets would be hard pressed to stop the Citizens dispatching them with ease.


PREDICTION: Manchester City to Win Series 4-0


Round One: Liverpool (2) vs Wolves (7)

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Nuno Espirito Santo's promoted side have defied all expectations to find themselves seventh in the league, and have surprisingly earned their most impressive results against the rest of the playoff sides. In the FA Cup meeting between the two clubs in January, Wolves came out on top and sent the Reds crashing out at the third round stage. 


In a seven-game series however like in the playoffs, the chances for an upset are dramatically reduced, and whilst Wolves could potentially sneak a win when they have home pitch advantage, expect Jurgen Klopp's men to move on to the next round with relative ease.

PREDICTION: Liverpool to Win Series 4-1


Round One: Tottenham (3) vs Chelsea (6)

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With the standings as they are, round one will see arguably one of the Premier League's most fiercest on-pitch rivalries come to a head. Both Spurs and Chelsea have been involved in some feisty clashes in recent years, with the 'Battle of the Bridge' in 2016 still fresh in the mind.


Both look extremely well-matched, with players like Eden Hazard and Harry Kane able to turn things in their favour in an instant. Perhaps the only round one series to go to the deciding game seven (which would be played at Wembley due to Spurs' higher seed), it would just be oh so Spursy for the Lilywhites to choke in the final game and crash out of the playoffs at home.

PREDICTION: Chelsea to Win Series 4-3

Round One: Manchester United (4) vs Arsenal (5)

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Such has been their form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United may be one of the dark horses to win the entire playoffs despite heading in as the fourth seed. Because after all, what happened in the regular season (ie the disaster under Jose Mourinho) would count for very little in the postseason.

Form, and who comes into it at their peak, can often be the defining factor, and with the Red Devils firing on all cylinders at the moment, Solskjaer's men would be confident of knocking out an Arsenal side still adapting to Unai Emery's methods.

PREDICTION: Manchester United to Win Series 4-2



Semi-Finals: Manchester City (1) vs Manchester United (4)

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A Manchester derby in the semi-finals, City vs United could be the most exciting series of the playoffs. With Guardiola's side having swept aside Watford, the City squad will have more rest than then counterparts, which could see them jump to a 2-0 lead in the opening games at the Etihad. 


Back at a rocking Old Trafford, Solskjaer's side should claw the deficit back in game three, and boosted by that confidence-gaining win, could make even the series in the fourth game. City should then win game five, meaning when they head back to Old Trafford, the pressure will be on the Red Devils who would face the prospect of elimination. With United bombing forward to claim victory, City may just pick them off on the counter, and seal a 4-2 series win.


PREDICTION: Manchester City to Win Series 4-2


Semi-Finals: Liverpool (2) vs Chelsea (6)

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A clash steeped in history - Luis Garcia anyone? - Liverpool will likely meet Chelsea in the semi-finals after the latter's game seven win over Tottenham in the first round. With the Anfield crowd roaring them on, Klopp's men should race into a two to nothing lead, but despite their struggles under Sarri this season, Chelsea have notoriously found a way to get the job done, and would fancy levelling the scores at 2-2. 


With games five and six being played at each side's respective stadiums, a win each for the home team would leave the series all tied up at 3-3, and set up a final game seven at Anfield. It may not be a European night, but the Kop End will surely turn up the volume, and drag their side to a huge series-winning victory.

PREDICTION: Liverpool to Win Series 4-3  


Finals: Manchester City (1) vs Liverpool (2)

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The two outstanding teams in the league, it is perhaps too difficult to look past either of these teams eventually making their way to the Premier League Finals. With the Reds however having been involved in a gruelling series against Chelsea in the semi-finals, Jurgen Klopp's side may just begin to feel the effects of a long, tiring season and playoffs. 

Both teams will back themselves to secure two wins apiece at their own grounds, and then also securing a win each in games five and six, leaving the series finely poised. City's home advantage in the deciding game seven may just tip the scales in their favour, and see Pep Guardiola's men retain their Premier League crown in a thrilling series.

PREDICTION: Manchester City to Win Series 4-3 and Crowned Premier League Champions

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