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The PL run in starts now!

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The Premier League run in officially begins this weekend as we now enter the final straight of the 2023/24 season. It’s been a rollercoaster with an unprecedented amount of injuries but it is important the fans stick together during these times.

Frustration is being taken out on all four corners with nobody really knowing what the core issue is. Sections of the media continue to stir by piling on specific people with zero context or explanation behind it.

The unprecedented amount of injuries has undoubtedly made this season a challenge and this is without European football. The players within the squad have grown as the season has progressed but due to injuries in multiple positions it essentially has become an episode of one step forward, two steps back.

Despite the off pitch noise Chelsea still have a job to do in both the Premier League and the FA Cup. Across the next 10 days Chelsea will take on Burnley, Man Utd and Sheffield United, two which take place at Stamford Bridge. Picking up at least 6-7 points in those three games could well add a positive spin as we look to pick up the remaining European place. Basing on what happens in Europe it could well possibly be two European spots.

With 11 games to go Chelsea currently sit on 39pts and with 33pts to play with the blues can finish on a maximum of 72 points. With Champions League fading by the day the next competition in line is the Europa League and even the Europa Conference League.

The points total for those two competitions are significantly lower than Champions League and despite a rocky season, this campaign can still be salvaged into a semi-acceptable season. Chelsea currently sit 5 points off 7th place and 3 points off 8th place. 7th would be Europe but if England’s coefficient leapfrogs Germany then 8th would become a European spot.

Last season you needed at least 60 points to break into the top 8 and if a that were to repeat this season Brighton would have to win 6 of their remaining 10 games, Newcastle would have to win 8 in 10. Realistically that is unlikely to happen so that number will more than likely be lowered.

For Chelsea to break the 60 point barrier, Pochettino’s side would have to win 7 of their remaining 11 fixtures or win 6 and draw in 3 others with only room for two defeats that would also see the 60 point mark achieved.

With matches against both Brighton and West Ham to be played they have effectively become six pointers, a victory would see the 60 point target most likely reduced but a defeat in either would likely give breathing room so targeted draws would have to be the worst case scenario.

During the 21/22 season you needed at least 56 points for 7th and 52 for 8th. Given West Ham are currently 12 points off that total with 9 games left it is estimated they could get close to that number once again but with the added distraction of Europe and fixtures against both City, Liverpool and ourselves, destiny is firmly in Chelsea’s hands.

During the 20/21 season you needed to break 60 points for a top 8 finish, with 56 points needed in 19/20. Until the coefficient mathematically secures or rules out 8th place being Conference League the exact points target and realistic aim is hard to set. Chelsea’s focus needs to be 58-60 points and if that is not enough for European football then we might have fallen under an anomaly campaign.

The mathematics could be completely irrelevant if Chelsea were to beat Manchester City & then Coventry or Manchester United in the FA Cup. The winners of the competition guarantee a place in the Europa League group-stage.

When will the Brighton game be played?

Chelsea were due to play Brighton on April 20th but due to our participation in the FA Cup that has resulted in a postponement. The re-arranged fixture is usually played on the midweek after semi-final weekend but the Premier League have prioritised Chelsea’s trip to the Emirates on the Tuesday night which has now resulted in an unknown date.

Given it is too late to schedule a fixture before the Manchester City game and the midweek after. It is possible that Chelsea will play either Brighton or Tottenham on the alternate day to the potential outcome that an English side will play in the Champions League on either April 30th or May 1st.

Given Tottenham still have to play Manchester City it is likely that it would be Tottenham picked to play Chelsea on either April 30th/May 1st/2nd especially as Manchester City have a proposed fixture in Europe for that date.

Given the Premier League and UEFA will want to avoid the 2nd leg of the Champions League clashing with domestic fixtures that will leave May 14th, 15th or 16th as a free midweek to play Brighton. The league could opt to play the game on May 9th but once again that would clash with a UEFA. That midweek is also free from Europe and assuming Manchester City knock Real Madrid out that would leave May 14th/15th as the only free midweek for them. Given the final day is on the following Sunday this allows matches to be played across the whole week.

How many points would Chelsea end on if a repeat of the reverse fixtures were to happen?

Chelsea currently sit on 39 points with 11 games to go. If Chelsea were to repeat the events of the reverse fixtures Pochettino would add 14 points to the total which would leave us on 53 points.

The blues dropped points against Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest, West Ham, Aston Villa, Arsenal, Everton and Manchester United with the only victories coming against Burnley, Sheffield United and Tottenham.

Given that equals such a poor return and adding in an expected defeat to Arsenal and potentially Aston Villa, matches at Stamford Bridge are now bigger than ever. Six of the remaining eleven matches will take place at Stamford Bridge and only two of them will be against teams in the top half.

Likely run-in:

Burnley (H), Man Utd (H), Sheffield United (A), Everton (H), Man City (FA), Arsenal (A), Aston Villa (A), Tottenham (H)*, West Ham (H), Nottingham Forest (A), Brighton (A)*, Bournemouth (H).

* Re-arranged fixture likely.

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