There’s still a glimmer of hope for Chelsea in the race for top four, and Blues legend Pat Nevin who had previously predicted that Liverpool will slip towards the end of the season believes surpassing Liverpool remains our best shot at reaching a Champions League spot.
If Chelsea beats Liverpool on Sunday and win our outstanding game against Huddersfield, it will leave Chelsea level on points with Jurgen Klopp’s men, pending the final game of the season.
Nevin wrote in his column for the official Chelsea website: “For Chelsea, it looks like the league charge could end up sadly just being a little late. I wrote on this page a few weeks ago that I felt Liverpool were the team who still should be concerned about the Blues regarding the top-four places in the Premier League.
“As the Reds have stumbled in the league since then, partly due to concentrating on their Champions League run, it is now the case that we can draw level with them on points if we win our last three games. This is something that looked highly unlikely when I first mentioned it, but there is still a problem that most of us have now figured out. It would then come down to goal difference if they beat Brighton at home on the last day, and of course we are a long way behind on that score. There was even a moment in their last game against Stoke City when Ryan Shawcross had a chance to win it late on for the visitors and that would have left Chelsea’s destiny in our own hands.
“It is all if and buts of course. Still we have managed to ‘keep them honest’ and of course we have put at least a little pressure on Spurs as well, even though they beat Watford on Monday. It may well be that the stumbles in January and then specifically the second half of the home game against Spurs could well look like the pivotal point in retrospect.”
Pat Nevin also chose to give Liverpool credit for what they have achieved so far this season.
He added: “Give Liverpool credit, they have done much better than just about anyone, including me, thought they would this season. At the start of the campaign they looked light in numbers and when they sold Philippe Coutinho I thought they had little or no chance of holding on in the top four, never mind the Champions League.
“They have managed it with style and passion and with also maybe a little bit of luck. Had Roberto Firmino, Saido Mane or Mohamed Salah had any time out for injury, I think it could have had a devastating effect. I sometimes look at their bench and applaud them even more for surviving with often only a very limited amount of experience sitting there. Chelsea’s bench on the other hand, well that is something to be very upbeat about.”