Getting to play the biggest European competition, Champions League is a task of honor and pride. Before any Premier League season kick-off, all the teams aim at finishing inside the top-4 if not winning the league. And unsurprisingly though the champions of England have already been crowned there are two spots still left in the race to get to Europe.
And with just 2 spots available, there are three teams still fighting to get a ticket to the Champions League. With just one game left before the curtains are dropped, the battle to CL qualification might take a final turn.
— Premier League (@premierleague) May 19, 2021
And FootTheBall takes a look at what the qualification scenario for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea, and Brendan Rodger’s Leicester City are.
REIGNING CHAMPIONS BACK ON TRACK
Jurgen Klopp’s men have had a roller coaster ride throughout their campaign. The reigning champions of England had a rough patch in the middle where winning matches at home seemed impossible. But Liverpool has lifted themselves from their catastrophic start. A 3-0 midweek win against Burnley helped the Reds to climb above Leicester into the elite category.
ONE DOWN, ONE TO GO!
A BIG WIN FOR THE REDS AT TURF MOOR 😍
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 19, 2021
The front-three of Liverpool was under the scanner for most parts of the season. With Firmino and Mane not living up to the standards, Salah also experienced a major dip. And a never-ending injury list just added to Klopp’s headache.
But they have been phenomenal since they found their touch. Thiago, a highly questionable signing from Bayern, has started showing why he’s worth every penny.
The centre-backs have put their defensive woes to bed and Liverpool once again looks like a tough rival to face. Winning 4 games on the trot, Liverpool currently sits in 4th position equal on points with Leicester but above them on goal difference.
🪄 @Thiago6 🪄
Another fine midfield display for this fella! pic.twitter.com/0gWpLq3OXH
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 19, 2021
Next, the Reds host Crystal Palace at home, and a win in their final match will guarantee them a Champions League spot next campaign. But if Jurgen Klopp’s army gets anything less than 3 points their season will be hung out to dry.
With Roy Hodgson bidding farewell to the role of Crystal Palace manager and returning to Anfield for his last match might be nothing less than irony. But it seems impossible that Liverpool will throw away this golden opportunity that they have and will be once again competing in the Champions League.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) May 19, 2021
WILL FOXES FLY HIGH?
A FA Cup trophy and a top-4 finish is something that a Leicester City fan would accept any day of the week. Though they have the FA Cup in the bag, a top-4 finish might not be possible. When Tielemans scored that screamer at Wembley not only Leicester City fans but every football fanatic stood up to clap for the Foxes. An underdog story that started a few years back doesn’t seem to have an end.
137 years in the making. pic.twitter.com/P4SDsBCBeH
— Leicester City (@LCFC) May 17, 2021
But now the Leicester ship lead by Brendan Rodgers is facing another storm. A loss against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and an away win for Liverpool against Burnley means that Leicester has been pushed out of the top-4 once again. Once it felt that Brendan Rodgers would be able to sail his team into the UCL but unfortunately it seems that he’ll have to settle with a Europa League spot.
Defeat at Chelsea, recovering for Sunday ➕ fans' impact on Filbert Way…
— Leicester City (@LCFC) May 19, 2021
Though Liverpool and Leicester are tied on points, the Reds have a far better goal difference. If Klopp or Tuchel guides their team to a victory, Leicester will have to defeat Spurs by a minimum margin of 5 goals. But by any chance, if the two teams above them go through a bumpy ride in their last match, the Foxes could sneak into the top-4.
If Leicester City only manages to get a Europa League spot they’ll have to look back at what’s going wrong for them. For the past 2 years, it has seemed that Leicester would play the Champions League but haven’t managed to get a seat at the table. Rodgers and company did miss their bus last season but would look to change their fortunes when they host a dented Spurs
A REVIVAL UNDER TUCHEL
Chelsea’s turnaround and revival after Tuchel’s appointment in 2021 have been nothing short of magnificent. They have reached the Champions League final after almost 6 years, they are third in the premier league and they finished runners-up in the FA Cup. But Tuchel was brought to Chelsea only to make it into the top-4. Chelsea pounced on every opportunity they got in the second half of the season.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 19, 2021
Players like Mason Mount have become a dominant figure for the Blues at Stamford Bridge. Not to forget that Tuchel has shown trust in the players who were benched by ex-manager Frank Lampard. Jorginho, Havertz, and Alonso have all been given better roles at Chelsea and therefore the team is reaping results. Werner was being trolled by the whole world and Tuchel always tried to have his strikers’ back supporting him whenever he was questioned by the media.
Bossing it on the touchline 🔵
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 2, 2021
Chelsea have rarely taken their foot off the gas except for their final loss to Leicester. But once again the mid-week win against the Foxes helped the Blues to get a stronghold in the top-4. Though Chelsea just sits one point above Liverpool and Leicester, they face Aston Villa in their final match. A win will surely secure them a Champions League; spot a stalemate or loss will put their destiny in the hands of the other teams also in the race.