The English Premier League is making its much anticipated return this week, and, whilst Liverpool have all but wrapped up the title for the first time in over 30 years, the race for top four, and a spot in next season’s Champions League, is far from over!
Manchester City look certain to secure second place, however, Leicester City and Chelsea – who are currently third and fourth, respectively – are far from safety, with Manchester United hot on their tails, whilst Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sheffield United are also not far behind. But, what are the Premier League odds on who will finish in the top four? Well, whilst the Blues and Man United are tipped to land the more illustrious spots, let’s take a look at the crucial games remaining for Chelsea!
Aston Villa – away
Chelsea’s first game back involves a trip to the midlands to face the relegation threatened, Aston Villa! Victory will be crucial for Frank Lampard’s men in order to build momentum for the rest of the season. However, Villa have a lot to play for too, as defeat could potentially see them sink further adrift from safety. Although, you’d probably fancy the Blues’ chances a little more, as Dean Smith’s side haven’t won in their last five outings.
Man City – home
Just four days after their trip to Villa Park, Chelsea will host Man City at Stamford Bridge. Defeat against Pep Guardiola’s side could potentially see the Red Devils pull level on points with Lampard’s men, so there’s a lot at stake! Worryingly for the Blues, they haven’t beaten City in the league for two years, and suffered a massive 6-0 trashing at their peril last term. Could Chelsea really start feeling the pressure after this fixture?
Sheffield United – away
The Blades are, without a doubt, this season’s success story. Chris Wilder’s men, who were tipped for relegation at the start of this term, are just five points behind Chelsea in seventh, and won’t be pushed over when the Blues travel to Bramall Lane just four games before the end of the season. Sheffield United lost just once in 10 outings, across all competitions, before the season ground to halt – and that was against Man City! The Blades also held Chelsea to a draw at Stamford Bridge back in September, so victory isn’t a guarantee for Lampard’s side here!
Liverpool – away
A trip to Liverpool – who should have already wrapped up the title by this point – for the penultimate game-week of the season is the last thing Chelsea would have wanted, when a place in the top four is up for grabs! Whilst the Blues beat Jürgen Klopp’s side 2-0 in the FA Cup just before lockdown, they haven’t beaten the Reds in the league since 2018, whilst their last Premier League victory at Anfield came in 2014!
Wolves – home
It doesn’t get any easier for the Blues on the final day of the season either, as they face Wolves at the Bridge. Both teams could have it all to play for in the crucial clash, as the visitors could also be vying for a European football spot! Lampard will be hoping that his side can find the same form they had earlier in the season when they beat Nuno Espírito Santo’s men 5-2 at Molineux.
Chelsea’s remaining Premier League fixtures
Aston Villa (A) – 21st June
Man City (H) – 25th June
West Ham (A) – 1st July
Watford (H) – 4th July
Crystal Palace (A) – 8th July
Sheff Utd (A) – 11th July
Norwich (H) – 15th July
Liverpool (A) – 18th July
Wolves (H) – 26th July