It’s advantage Chelsea in the intriguing race for a top-four finish in the Premier League.
This is after Manchester United were held to a 2-2 at home to Southampton on Monday night, thus failing to take full advantage of both the Blues and Leicester City losing by a three-goal margin over the weekend.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have been impressive since the restart and were just minutes away from confirming their status as hot favourites to take up one of the two final top-four spots up for grabs.
Manchester City’s two-year ban from the Champions League has successfully been appealed, so fifth-place will no longer come with a spot Europe’s top tier competition next season.
As a result, the battle for a top-four finish is set to heat up with three games of the season left to play. Chelsea have now amassed 60 points after 35 games.
Leicester City’s collapse in form since the turn of the year means they are fourth, ahead of United on goal difference on 59 points, Wolves and Sheffield United are on 55 and 54 points respectively, while Tottenham Hotspur are on 52 points.
Victory over Norwich City on Tuesday night will ensure the Blues will be playing in Europe next season and confirm their place as London’s best team for the 2019/20 campaign.
So what does this all mean for Chelsea, Lampard, and the top-four battle?
Well, the maximum number of points United and the Foxes can get is 68 – and the pair meet on the final day of the season which could benefit the Blues. For Wolves it is 64, and the Blades’ maximum points total is 63 if they can remain perfect between now and the end of the month.
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Lampard’s side also have three games left in their season, and the Blues could achieve a maximum of 69 points by the end of the campaign.
As a result, 69 points will be enough to seal yet another top-four finish.
Three straight wins to end the season would be the dream scenario. However, with games against Liverpool and Wolves to come as well as the Leicester vs Man United clash, 69 points might not be the magic total after all.
Kai Havertz Transfer
In addition, if reports are to be believed, Champions League qualification is also key to sealing a deal for Bayer Leverkusen wonderkid Kai Havertz in the summer transfer window.
German publication Bild, via the Metro, claimed last month that Havertz is open to the idea of sealing a move to Stamford Bridge, but only as long as they have secured Champions League football for next season.
According to Nicolo Schira, via the Express, Chelsea are ready to put in an offer in for the £90m-rated Havertz, which can be financed by offloading left-back Emerson Palmieri and midfield duo Jorginho and Tiemoue Bakayoko.
Chelsea’s remaining Premier League fixtures
Norwich City (h) July 14
Liverpool (a) July 22
Wolves (h) July 26