Chelsea made their task that little bit easier after beating Leicester City 2-1 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, but they could still fail to qualify for the UEFA Champions League via the traditional route should they lose to Aston Villa on Sunday.
Thomas Tuchel’s side edged closer to securing their place in next season’s competition thanks to Antonio Rudiger’s close-range finish and Jorginho’s second-half penalty, but they aren’t there just yet.
Regardless of whether Jurgen Klopp’s team win, lose or draw with the Clarets, Liverpool cannot leapfrog Chelsea into third in the Premier League table on Wednesday, and therefore, Chelsea will be in pole position ahead of the final weekend.
Here’s how every possible result from Turf Moor could impact the Blues’ chances of qualification.
A win will certainly mount pressure on Tuchel’s side, as Liverpool would creep above Leicester and into the top four on goal difference, just one point behind Chelsea.
If that were to happen, and Liverpool and Leicester went on to beat Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur respectively, it would mean that Chelsea would need to beat Villa to secure their place amongst European’s elite next season.
A draw on the other hand would see Liverpool remain fifth, three points behind Chelsea who already have a +2-goal difference over the Merseyside outfit.
That effectively means the Blues would only need a point against Villa to ensure a top-four finish, even if Liverpool manage to beat Crystal Palace and Leicester go onto win against Tottenham.
A defeat for Klopp’s side is obviously advantageous for Chelsea, and they would qualify immediately, with Liverpool unable to catch them. Leicester could go onto catch them on the final day, but qualification for the competition would be intact.
The result probably isn’t going to impact Tuchel’s focus for Villa anyways, as the German will set up his side to win. And if it does somehow all go wrong, they can always qualify the unorthodox way by actually winning the competition, which is exactly how they did so back in 2012.
Chelsea: 67 points – GD +23 – Aston Villa (A)
Leicester: 66 Points – GD +20 – Spurs (H)
Liverpool 63 Points – GD +21 – Burnley (A), Crystal Palace (H)
Source by Football London