Chelsea’s European chances ahead of final game today – Talk Chelsea

    Sunday will see the send off game for legend Thiago Silva at Stamford Bridge. Expect tears, emotions, smiles, celebrations, and plenty of ‘oohhhhh Thiagoooo Siiiiilvaa.’

    It’s the final game of a rollercoaster season for Chelsea, and many other clubs in the Premier League. I think Manchester United and Tottenham fans are going to be pleased to see this season out too. Although Chelsea might be thinking that they wish they could carry on right now with the incredible momentum we are building up in recent matches.

    All games kick off at the same time on Sunday of course, with a league title still to be won and other important decider games going on. It’s quite nice how so much has gone through to the final day of the season and no club has really ran away with anything. It’s been so close all season and so many clubs have been really inconsistent, just like us.

    Chelsea welcome Bournemouth for the 4pm kick off on Sunday, and you can watch it (UK) on Sky Sports Football.

    There’s a lot to play for, and Chelsea are in a decent position to get Europa League football all of a sudden.

    The visitors have nothing left to play for other than pride, sitting in 11th place in the league. They can still finish in the top 10 though if they beat Chelsea, and they could still even finish in 13th place if they lose. So I guess you can say that actually, there is a bit to play for in terms of end league position for them. They certainly wont make it easy for us.

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    Bournemouth have, yes you guessed it, been very inconsistent in recent games. They got beat by Brentford and Arsenal in their last two games but beat Brighton 3-0 and Wolves 1-0 before that. They even got a point at home against Manchester United, which has helped us massively.

    It’s far from cut and dry for Chelsea, even though our home record has been so much better lately. It will be a very tough game, and we know Bournemouth can do some damage and have some very good players like Dominic Solanke, Antoine Semenyo, and Justin Kluivert. They can be very fast and tricky in attack.

    Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea can be very open, so we will be vulnerable on counter attacks once again and Bournemouth can exploit that.

    Chelsea will and should be fully up for this though, and they should have enough to get the win at Stamford Bridge. They will be doing all they can to continue that momentum and qualify for Europe. They certainly look like a team playing with confidence right now and with the tide on their side.

    Chelsea even finish in 5th place if Tottenham lose to Sheffield United away from home. Anything can happen.

    Newcastle are away to Brentford which is no easy away day at all. And Manchester United are away to Brighton, and as we saw last night, that’s never a straightforward tie to win.

    Manchester United will not catch us now even if they win (unless some crazy scorelines happen) because we have a 13+ goal difference compared to their -3. We would be level on points if they won and we lost, but we would be above them on goal difference.

    Newcastle are a bit more of an issue because they have a better goal difference (+21). But they are 3 points behind us so it’s completely in our hands anyway. If we win or draw, we finish above Toon. But if we lose and they win (barring any crazy scorelines again), they will finish above us.

    With Spurs, it’s all a bit closer in terms of goal difference. However, we have a +3 better goal difference than them, putting us in a great position to go above them if we win and they lose.

    There are many variables and what ifs, but it is largely in Chelsea’s hands.

    European qualification gets confusing, so I’ve taken info from an article from NBC Sports this morning to hopefully clarify it all.

    Only eight of the Premier League’s 20 clubs could claim a place in Europe, whether the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, or Conference League.

    The renovation of the UEFA Champions League means that some leagues get five spots in the group stage, but Premier League clubs’ performances in Europe this season have sunk those hopes back to four places.

    Fifth place guarantees a spot in the Europa League group stage.

    The team that finishes in sixth will play in the Europa League if Manchester City win the FA Cup, with the Europa Conference League spot moving down to seventh place.

    If Manchester United win the FA Cup and finish sixth in the Premier League, they will qualify for the Europa League with the club in seventh going to the Conference League.

    However, should Manchester United finish outside of the top six and defeat Manchester City in the FA Cup Final, United will go to the Europa League and the team finishing in sixth will be in the Conference League and whoever finishes in seventh will not qualify for Europe.

    Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpooland Aston Villa have qualified for the Champions League via top-four finishes.

    Tottenham‘s only route to Europe is through the league table. They can finish no lower than seventh.

    Chelsea can only reach the Europa League or Conference League through the league table. They cannot finish lower than eighth.

    Newcastle United‘s only path to Europe is through the league table. They currently sit seventh, ahead of Man United on goal differential and three points behind Chelsea. They cannot finish lower than eighth.

    Manchester United can go to the Europa League by winning the FA Cup, and the league table is still a route to Europe as well. The Red Devils may go to the Conference League if they fail to win the FA Cup.

    West Ham United, Brighton, Wolves, Bournemouth, Fulham, Brentford, Crystal Palace, Sheffield United, Burnley, Luton Town, Nottingham Forestand Everton have been eliminated from contention for Europe.

    So, as I said in my last article detailing our route to Europe a couple of weeks back, even if we finish in 6th, we still have to await the result of The FA Cup final to know our European fate for next season, which is a bit frustrating.

    A lot rests still on Manchester City and United. You’d expect City to win that game, but United got a bit of a boost this week beating Newcastle, and they can certainly turn up against City in a cup final which as we know, anything can happen in.

    The main thing is that Chelsea must just focus on beating Bournemouth on Sunday, and I think they will. I predict Chelsea 2 Bournemouth 1.

    In terms of lineups, I suspect Thiago Silva might get the nod to start over Benoit Badiashile and I also expect him to be handed the captains armband for his send off game.

    The only other change I see from the win against Brighton is Christopher Nkunku starting over Mykhailo Mudryk, who will not be available due to going off with concussion in the Brighton game.

    So, for the final time this season seeing out an exhausting, entertaining, horrible, good, bad, toxic, great 2023/24 season, COME ON CHELSEA!!!!

    If you would like to feature on Talk Chelsea click here.

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