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Chelsea’s Europa League Gamble

20 March 2019 | Premier League | Articles
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Chelsea’s Europa League Gamble

With many Premier League outfits being inactive last weekend, it meant that Chelsea had the perfect opportunity in which to firmly re-enter the race to finish in the top four and come Sunday evening, it was one that had slipped through their fingers.

A trip to Goodison Park was the task for Chelsea, one that came after a very impressive win against Dynamo Kyiv just three days before and unfortunately it seems the hassle that a Thursday/Sunday schedule brings once again reared its ugly head.

Because just like the fixture against Wolves a couple of weeks ago, Chelsea failed to register a victory and although they picked up a draw against Nuno Espirito Santo’s men at Stamford Bridge, there was even less to write home about after events on Merseyside.

A lacklustre Chelsea came unstuck against Everton and the Toffees who themselves were not all that much in the first 45 minutes, came alive after the interval and in turn went up through the gears to deliver a much needed three points for an under pressure Marco Silva.

While the pressure was being lessened on the shoulders of Everton boss Silva, it was being re-applied to those of Maurizio Sarri’s and once again the former Napoli head steward is having questions asked about his long term future at the club.

With that defeat, Chelsea have lost their momentum and it could well be, that the West Londoners now have to rely on winning the Europa League as their entry route into next season’s edition of the Champions League.

That in itself is a very risky strategy, due to the fact it could end up being Europa or bust for the current Chelsea manager, win Europe’s junior club competition and the ends will undoubtedly justify the means.

However, should Chelsea finish outside of the top four and fail to win a first trophy under Sarri, then you do get the feeling that the Roman Abramovich will have to make a serious decision as to whether or not he presses the reset button in the summer.

The managerial revolving door is one that is often in use at Stamford Bridge and there is a feeling that the man at the top is not all that important, with the players being all but able to look after themselves.

Perhaps though, this is a mindset that needs to change and especially if they are to build foundations for the next few years - a task that looks set to become a lot harder with a FIFA enforced transfer ban looming large.

The problem that Chelsea have ultimately had this season is that you never know what version of the team you are going to get from one fixture to the next and that lack of consistency has been their Achilles heel.

There is still just enough time to salvage this campaign and stop it from being an absolute shipwreck, but we are now playing a game of high stakes poker and it will be interesting to see if Chelsea’s Europa League gamble is one that pays off, time will tell if it does or not.

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Home team - Away team Forebet
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FulhamNewcastle United
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OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Manchester City 98 38 32 2 4 95 23 72
2. Liverpool 97 38 30 7 1 89 22 67
3. Chelsea 72 38 21 9 8 63 39 24
4. Tottenham 71 38 23 2 13 67 39 28
5. Arsenal 70 38 21 7 10 73 51 22
6. Manchester United 66 38 19 9 10 65 54 11
7. Wolverhampton 57 38 16 9 13 47 46 1
8. Everton 54 38 15 9 14 54 46 8
9. Leicester City 52 38 15 7 16 51 48 3
10. West Ham 52 38 15 7 16 52 55 -3
11. Watford 50 38 14 8 16 52 59 -7
12. Crystal Palace 49 38 14 7 17 51 53 -2
13. Newcastle United 45 38 12 9 17 42 48 -6
14. Bournemouth 45 38 13 6 19 56 70 -14
15. Burnley 40 38 11 7 20 45 68 -23
16. Southampton 39 38 9 12 17 45 65 -20
17. Brighton 36 38 9 9 20 35 60 -25
18. Cardiff City 34 38 10 4 24 34 69 -35
19. Fulham 26 38 7 5 26 34 81 -47
20. Huddersfield 16 38 3 7 28 22 76 -54

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