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Why Chelsea's season isn't over - and how they can make the top-four

COMMENT: After succumbing to a 3-1 defeat against Tottenham in 'The Battle of The Bridge' last time out, Chelsea's chances of securing a top four finish dropped significantly.

Despite Harry Kane being on the bench for the crucial tie, Spurs still proved to be too much to handle as Cristian Eriksen scored a brilliant goal and Dele Alli bagged a brace to take their side eight points clear of the Blues.

Speaking to BBC Sport on the game, Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso said; "It was a must win and we are very disappointed. We have to fight to the end and see what happens." He later went on to add that "winning the last seven games has to be the target and we have to lose."

Marcos Alonso's profound words show how dire Chelsea's current situation is. They don't just have to win their remaining games, they also have to hope that Tottenham and Liverpool drop some points along the line – a situation no team wants to be in.

That being said, judging by Chelsea's upcoming fixtures clawing their way back into the top four is going to be difficult, but not impossible, hence; Antonio Conte must rally his troops the same way he did after his side's iconic defeat to Arsenal last season in a bid to get Chelsea back into the top four.

Chelsea's remaining Premier League games will see them host West Ham, travel away to the St Mary's to face a struggling Southampton side, play away at Burnley and Swansea City before going on to face Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, a game that ended in a draw back in November.

The game against Liverpool could be very crucial because whilst Tottenham currently occupy fourth place with 64 points, Liverpool sit third on the league standings with 66 points having played one more game than Chelsea and Spurs.

Chelsea could potentially need to just close a seven point gap between them and Klopp's side, which will increase their chances of making it into the top four as they have a chance to directly influence Liverpool's points tally given they're one of their upcoming opponents.

After doing battle with the Reds, Chelsea will be left with two very tricky fixtures against two teams fighting to retain their Premier League status, Huddersfield and Newcastle.

If history is anything to go by, relegation strugglers tend to raise their game with only a handful of games left before the end of the campaign, hence, the ties against the Terriers and the Magpies could be, along with the game against Liverpool could be the hardest of the seven for the Blues.

Chelsea needs Spurs to lose three of their last seven games in a bid to overtake them on the league table. Spurs don't really have a difficult set of fixtures as they are only yet to face Stoke City, Manchester City, Brighton, Watford, West Brom, Newcastle and Leicester City for the second time this term.

They could potentially lose against City, Newcastle and Leicester, whilst the other games look like they'll be routine victories for Pochettino's men.

Liverpool's last six fixtures will see them face local rivals Everton, Bournemouth, West Brom, Stoke, Chelsea and Brighton. The Blues need them to lose three games or lose two and draw one.

In a bid for Chelsea to qualify for the Champions League in Liverpool's stead, Jurgen Klopp's side has to have lost at least a game before their clash with the Blues at Stamford Bridge and realistically that loss could come from either Bournemouth or Everton.

Chelsea may not have the best chance of securing a top four finish, but it's doable considering the fact that Liverpool and Tottenham can drop the amount of points required for either of them to narrowly miss out on Champions League qualification.

Antonio Conte side must now focus on going on a seven-game winning streak. It would be amazing if Chelsea could pull it off but their upcoming fixture against West Ham will determine if the Blues have the resolve required to perform such an amazing turnaround.

Phillip Ekuwem
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Phillip Ekuwem

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