With Manchester City’s UEFA competitions ban being overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), Chelsea have to finish in the top four to secure Champions League spot.
Chelsea have now lost their potential safety net to qualify for next season’s Champions League as Manchester City are now officially eligible to enter the tournament.
The UEFA released a statement regarding the verdict, saying: “UEFA notes that the CAS panel found that there was insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the CFCB’s conclusions in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the 5 year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations.”
Now the question is how many points would Chelsea need to finish in the top four?
Tough remaining three games
The answer would change depending on the match results of their surrounding teams.
But still, we can make an estimation.
At things stand, Chelsea are third with 60 points, one point above Leicester City (fourth), two points above Manchester United (fifth), and five points from sixth-placed Wolverhampton.
Manchester United, however, still have one game in hand and could move to third and send Chelsea to fourth place if they win their game against Southampton.
Ideally, Chelsea will secure a Champions League spot if they win their remaining three league games, but considering their opponents will be Norwich City, Liverpool, and Wolves, it is unrealistic to expect them to grab all possible nine points.
Manchester United and Leicester City will also face each other in the last fixture which makes the top four race even more interesting.
The result of Leicester City vs Manchester United will be important
If Manchester United beat Leicester, Chelsea will only need a draw against Wolves in their last game, although they would also need to match Leicester’s points in their other two games.
While if Leicester win against Manchester United, Chelsea will have to win the remaining three games, depending on Manchester United’s results in their other three games.
If it’s a tie, Chelsea will also have to win against Wolves considering their poor goal difference this season, while at least matching the Foxes’ points from the other two games.
Nine points from the remaining three games are needed to finish in top four regardless of other teams’ results but seven points could realistically be enough, looking at Leicester City’s recent form.
Stealing three points from Liverpool at Anfield will be Chelsea’s biggest task, though, and it could define which European competition Chelsea will play next season.