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Race for top four: Chelsea

24 Mar 2019
Chelsea FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

A look at form, fixtures and key man for the Blues as they seek to earn UEFA Champions League qualification

The race for the top four is intensifying as we enter the final months of the season, so we have taken a look at the prospects of those battling it out for a place in the top four.

How they stand

Pos Team Pl GD Pts
1 MCI 38 +72 98
2 LIV 38 +67 97
3 CHE 38 +24 72
4 TOT 38 +28 71
5 ARS 38 +22 70
6 MUN 38 +11 66
Chelsea

The form of Maurizio Sarri's team has been erratic since the turn of the year.

Chelsea started 2019 in fourth, but have since slipped to sixth after claiming only 14 points from a possible 30.

An impressive victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge followed a 6-0 defeat by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in February.

A 2-1 win at Fulham kept them in touch with Arsenal and Manchester United with a match in hand.

But a 1-1 draw at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers and a 2-0 defeat at Everton mean they now lie a point behind United and three off Arsenal in fourth.

Fixtures

With trips to Liverpool and Old Trafford to come, Sarri will be hoping he can engineer an improvement in his side's form on the road.

They have lost and failed to score in four of their last five Premier League matches away from Stamford Bridge.

Fixtures against Cardiff City, Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion seem to offer more points potential but these teams are likely to be needing points in their quest to avoid relegation.

And the Blues' final two fixtures of 2018/19 look far from comfortable. Their last at home is against FA Cup semi-finalists Watford and they then face a Leicester City side resurgent under Brendan Rodgers at King Power Stadium on the final day, Sunday 12 May.

Key man

Despite Chelsea's erratic performances, Eden Hazard has been his side's shining light this season again.

With 13 Premier League goals the Belgian has exceeded his tally from 2017/18 and Hazard leads the division's assists chart with 11.

Sarri and Hazard can take heart from the fact that he has scored against four of the eight sides Chelsea face in the run-in, including a hat-trick against Cardiff.

So if Chelsea are to make up the ground on their top-four rivals it is fair to assume their two-time title-winning star will play an integral part.

See: Race for top four: Away form top of Sarri's tasks

Also in this series

Part 1: Race for top four: Tottenham Hotspur 
Part 2: Race for top four: Kane alone can revive Spurs
Part 3: Race for top four: Arsenal
Part 4: Race for top four: Aubameyang key for Arsenal
Part 5: Race for top four: Manchester United
Part 6: Race for top four: Freeing Pogba vital for Man Utd

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