The race to secure UEFA Champions League football for next season is going to go right down to the wire.
Liverpool ensured they will have a massive say in the final day drama that is likely to occur on Sunday afternoon after securing a comfortable 3-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor last night.
Goals from Roberto Firmino, Nat Phillips and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sealed a routine win for the Reds, moving them into the top four for the first time in three months, moving ahead of Leicester City on goal difference.
As well as leapfrogging the Foxes in the standings, Jurgen Klopp’s side also moved back to within one point of Chelsea, meaning any slip ups from the Blues at Villa Park against Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon could see their top four ambitions end in tatters.
However, Chelsea’s destiny lies in their own hands – and the task could not be simpler. The Blues, who face Manchester City in the Champions League final in Porto next Saturday evening, will wrap up a top four berth with a victory against Dean Smith’s side regardless of what Leicester do against Tottenham Hotspur and what Liverpool do at home to Crystal Palace.
As well as a victory wrapping up a top four finish, a win for Chelsea would also secure third, as they hold a one-point advantage over both Liverpool and Leicester.
However, if Chelsea were to draw and both Leicester and Liverpool were to win, the Blues would drop out of the top four and be forced to settle for a fifth-placed finish. If that proved to be the case, they would have to win the Champions League final to secure a route into European club football’s top competition next season.
If the Blues were to draw and Leicester and Liverpool were to draw, the Blues would secure third, with the standings finishing as they currently are.
However, if the Blues lose and Leicester and Liverpool both won, Chelsea would drop out of the top four and finish fifth.
In a different scenario, if Chelsea were to draw and Liverpool won, but Leicester failed to win, Chelsea would finish fourth on goal difference if the Foxes drew.
Final day permutations for Chelsea:
- If Chelsea win they are guaranteed to finish in the top-four and secure third regardless of Leicester and Liverpool’s results.
- If Chelsea draw and Liverpool win at home against Crystal Palace, Chelsea would finish fourth if Leicester failed to beat Spurs. A win for the Foxes would see Chelsea drop down to fifth.
- If Chelsea draw or lose, they would drop out of the top four if Leicester and Liverpool both win.
If Chelsea draw and Leicester and Liverpool were to draw, the Blues would secure third, with the standings finishing as they currently are.
- If Chelsea lose, Liverpool win and Leicester draw, the Blues could finish fourth on goal difference depending on the scoreline at Villa Park.
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- If Chelsea draw, Liverpool draw and Leicester win, Chelsea would finish fourth, with Leicester taking third and Liverpool fifth.
- If Chelsea lose and Leicester and Liverpool both draw, Liverpool would finish third on goal difference, whilst Chelsea would secure fourth on goal difference ahead of Leicester. All three sides would have 67 points to their name.