Sharethematch.com ambassador Andy Gray was talking exclusively to tribalfootball.com…
CHELSEA have left themselves in a perfect position to qualify for the Champions League qualifiers after Wednesday’s 3-2 victory over Shakhtar – though they will be the first to admit they’ve not yet reached their best.
They have a tough game coming up against Juventus in Turin which will be a really key test for them, but they have that safety net to fall back on as they’re playing FC Nordsjaelland in the last game while Shakhtar and Juventus have to play each other.
They should win their last game, and win it comfortably, so that’s another three points, while Shakhtar and Juventus can’t both win that final game so they definitely have a great chance.
I don’t really fear for Chelsea in the Champions League because I think they are made of really good stuff at the moment. They are not playing their best, by any stretch of the imagination, because they are giving away too many chances and they look a bit leaky at the back.
I don’t think they have the balance right yet between attack and defence and that will hurt them. But they know they need to find that balance and they should have enough up top to trouble Juventus enough to get the one point I think will be enough.
Another team not playing their best are Manchester United, yet they have qualified with two games to spare.
Sir Alex Ferguson can now pick and choose who he wants to play in the final two games and that’s an incredible luxury if you’re a team challenging for the Premier League title.
They’ve looked far from their best, they’ve struggled through and they’ve not been great to watch.
There hasn’t been a game in the Champions League they have dominated from start to finish this season and that’s not like United at all.
But the only thing you concern yourself with, as United know from last year, is getting yourself through to the next group stage and they’ve done that with two games to spare.
They were second best against Braga for most of that match, it was only after the lights went out in the second half they looked anywhere near their best – Ferguson’s words must have been ringing in their ears.
I fancy them to get through as they’ve got a talented side but it’s going to be a real key test of quite a young team how they respond to those final few group matches.
While all three of those teams have their own destiny in their own hands, Manchester City do not, and they were their own worst enemy again on Wednesday night.
They started slowly and they didn’t play how I expected them to, I thought they would get stuck in to Ajax from the word go because it was such an important game.
They needed to be in their faces, push them back, make them work hard – they didn’t do that.
Andy Gray is an official ambassador for Sharethematch.com – Football’s Social Network. Available now for FREE online or at the App Store; http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/share-the-match/id450784289?mt=8