While it is difficult and no longer looking realistic, it must be said that Chelsea stillhave a fighting chance to qualify for the Champions League next season.
The Blues travel to St James’ Park to face Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon and are favourites
to pick up all three points in their pursuit for a top-four finish.
The Blues have to beat United and hope Liverpool lose to Brighton & Hove Albion to leapfrog the Merseysiders into the final Champions League spot.
If Liverpool draw
with Brighton, Chelsea need
to beat Newcastle by a four-goal margin to overtake the Reds on goal difference.
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Antonio Conte’s Chelsea side are currently fifth in the Premier League table with 70 points from 37 games, coming off the back of four wins from their last five outings.
The Blues are two points behind Liverpool ahead of the final day but will fancy their chances of winning at Newcastle as they boast three consecutive wins on the road.
As for the home side, Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle side are 10th with 41 points.
The Magpies have lost their last four games and suffered defeat in their most recent home outing, so they go into Sunday’s meeting with Chelsea off the back of poor
United have little other than pride to play for so Chelsea could take full advantage if Benitez opts to give fringe players a run-out at St James’. Chelsea ran out 3-1 winners in the reverse fixture.
Sunday’s match is Chelsea’s 1,000th in the Premier League since its formation for the 1992/93 season.
one of six ever-present teams who will reach the 1,000-match milestone this weekend. The others are Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton.
For the Blues, that journey of a thousand games began with a single Mick Harford strike in a 1-1 home draw against Oldham Athletic (a club relegated last week to League Two).