Ian Wright's two-word response when asked if Chelsea will definitely make the top four this season

Ian Wright has suggested that Chelsea’s place inside the Champions League slots is no longer guaranteed.

Speaking on The Kelly and Wright Show, the former striker sent a warning to Thomas Tuchel’s men about their automatic European qualification.

Chelsea have taken their foot off the gas

Throughout the entire campaign, it seemed a dead cert that the Blues would be challenging the continent’s very best next season.

However, in the past few weeks or so, serious doubts have started to creep into the psyche.

The 4-1 defeat to Brentford was put down as a shock result, a flash in the pan, one of those slip-ups every elite side endures now and again.

But the 4-2 loss at the hands of Arsenal on Wednesday made people begin to seriously question Chelsea’s status within the top four.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Being knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid at the quarter-final stage didn’t do much in the way of spreading positivity across the camp.

Now, with six games remaining (seven for Chelsea), the gap between third and the two positions directly below is just five points.

Arsenal and Spurs crank up the heat

Despite Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur’s inconsistent efforts to truly grab hold of fourth place, both sides have proved they can be the club to join Liverpool and Manchester City in Europe.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are very gradually going in the opposite direction.

Even just a couple of months ago, the idea of them finishing anything below third was preposterous.

Yet, the tables have quite literally turned now.

“Absolutely not,” answered Wright when asked whether the Blues are safe from falling off the European podium.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

With such little wiggle room, the next handful of fixtures could decide Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal’s fate.

A meeting with David Moyes and West Ham United awaits Tuchel on Sunday, a day after the Gunners host Manchester United.

Mikel Arteta then has to face the Hammers the following weekend, switching with Chelsea as they are also due to play Man United soon.

Meanwhile, Tottenham have a late kick-off against Brentford tomorrow, before welcoming Leicester City to London.

It really is all still to play for.  

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.