Chelsea could be in danger of missing out on Champions League football next season if their current poor form continues. The Blues have managed just five wins from their previous 16 Premier League matches and have seen their lead over the chasing pack dwindle in recent weeks.
Frank Lampard’s side put together a run of six consecutive wins in September and November, moving them up to third in the table – a point clear of Manchester City and nine ahead of fifth-placed Sheffield United.
However, the Blues now sit fourth in the table after a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth last weekend and only hold a three-point advantage over Manchester United and Wolves.
Tottenham and Sheffield United are just two points further back, and Spanish football expert Guillem Balague believes Chelsea are at risk of dropping out of the Champions League qualification spots.
Speaking to GentingBet, Balague said: “If there is a top five this season because of Manchester City’s European Ban, I think Manchester United have got a very good chance of qualifying for the Champions League.
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“I think that the current top five will be similar when it comes to the end of the season. The only fear is that Chelsea drops its level and then somebody else takes advantage, but as the top five, it will remain like it currently is.”
Balague’s comments suggest he feels United will easily secure their spot in Europe’s top competition, while Liverpool and Leicester are almost guaranteed to be at the top table next season.
However, the 51-year-old pundit thinks Chelsea are at risk of falling behind the likes of Tottenham, Wolves or even Sheffield United.
Balague has also ruled out any chance of the Blues staying in this season’s Champions League after a humbling 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their last 16 clash.
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When asked which English clubs will progress through to the quarter-finals, he said: “Even after the first-leg result, Liverpool should beat Atlético Madrid. They’re playing at home.
“Two defeats must have made them realise that they need to go back to basics a little bit. They have time to react, so they should go through.
“Chelsea won’t go through. I actually think Spurs will win against Leipzig away, so I think that Spurs will actually make it, which is surprising as Leipzig were superior.
“And Manchester City will beat Real Madrid at home again, if necessary. At least I don’t think that they will lose, so Manchester City will go through.”
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Chelsea have a mountain to climb after two goals from Serge Gnabry and another from Robert Lewandowski at Stamford Bridge put Bayern in complete control of their tie.
The Blues must now travel to the Allianz Arena looking to overturn a huge deficit, although they will be without both Marcos Alonso and Jorginho due to suspension.
Tammy Abraham, N’Golo Kante, Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi are also among a number of injury doubts for Lampard to contend with.
However, there was some encouragement for Chelsea after Lewandowski was ruled out of the upcoming clash after picking up a knee injury in the first leg.
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