In the latest Chelsea news, boss Antonio Conte insists the Blues can still finish in the top four this season and, in doing so, secure qualification for the Champions League.
Chelsea had looked all but certain to miss out on a top-four finish following a disappointing run of form at the turn of the year, but back-to-back league wins over Southampton and Burnley, coupled with a dip in form from Tottenham, has seen them move back within striking distance.
Indeed, the Blues are only five points behind fourth-placed Spurs and they could reduce that gap to just two if they secure all three points against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday evening, as their London rivals are not in action until Monday.
Conte knows it will not be easy for his side to beat a Swansea team that is still looking to secure Premier League survival, particularly as Carlos Carvalhal’s side are unbeaten in their last five league matches on their own patch, recording wins over the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal during that sequence.
“Swansea have won four of their last five games at home, it means they are in good form,” Conte said.
Despite being wary of Swansea’s threat, Conte is still confident his side can secure the victory they need to put pressure on Tottenham and keep their hopes of securing a top-four finish alive.
“We have to try,” the Italian added. “First of all we have to try to get three points at Swansea and it won’t be easy because we are going to play against a team that is fighting to avoid relegation.
“We must pay great attention but at the same time if we want to continue to have an opportunity take a place in the Champions League we need to get three points and try to put a bit of pressure on the teams that are higher than us.”
Chelsea are priced at 12/1 with bet365 to finish in the top four, but if they beat Swansea then they will fancy their chances of mounting at least a challenge, as they will end the campaign with home matches against Liverpool and Huddersfield, as well as an away clash with Newcastle.
Tottenham currently occupy fourth place and they will play host to Watford on Monday before concluding their season away at West Brom and at home to Newcastle and Leicester.