Chelsea captain Gary Cahill has admitted that it would be “very surprising” if his team manages to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
After 34 games played, the Blues are currently in fifth place in the league standings and five points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
“I mean, I am not being negative by any stretch, but the games are running out and the teams in there are very good, so if they do let it up it’ll be very, very surprising,” the 32-year-old told reporters.
Chelsea still have a remote chance of catching up on fourth-placed Spurs, but manager Mauricio Pochettino is likely to now field full-strength teams for his side’s remaining fixtures against Watford, West Brom, Newcastle and Leicester City following their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United at the weekend.
The Blues next play against Swansea on Saturday before facing off against Liverpool, Huddersfield Town and then Newcastle.
It goes without saying that it has been a frustrating season for Chelsea fans. The club have been lacklustre in the way in which they have attempted to defend their Premier League title and have, at times, looked a shadow of the team that dominated the top flight last term.
“(There is) that gap and the point difference [between Chelsea and Spurs], but the obvious thing is all we can do is win our games. We got a decent result at Burnley and we just need to keep winning,” Cahill added when pressed on where he sees his side finishing up in the standings.
Of course, despite experiencing intense frustration in both the league and in Europe this term, the Blues can still end off the season on a high when they play against Manchester United in the FA Cup final on May 19.