Former Man Utd midfielder predicts Chelsea will fail to reach Europa Conference League
Robbie Savage does not think that Chelsea will finish high enough to even qualify for the Europa Conference League.
ECL qualification can be secured by winning the League Cup, and depending on who wins the European competitions and the two domestic cups, a team might finish as low as eighth and still pick up a spot in the Conference League.
However, former United midfielder Savage thinks that ninth is the highest that Chelsea will manage.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side lost their heads in a 4-1 defeat at the weekend against Newcastle United, and they currently sit 10th, which is four points behind ninth-placed West Ham.
Speaking to Planet Sport Bet, Savage described the problems with Chelsea.
He explained: “Chelsea can’t defend, and the stats will tell you that. They seem to have fixed the goalscoring issues but as that has improved their defence has become really poor. Conceding eight goals in two games shows where the defence is at the moment and that’s why they are struggling.
“On Saturday, young Lewis Miley was the best player on the pitch against a Chelsea midfield that has cost hundreds of millions of pounds – it’s not good enough.
“They’ve got to somehow find a way to get into Europe next season. That has to be a minimum requirement but it’s hard to say they will do it based on their current form. The Europa Conference League has done wonders for the likes of West Ham and Aston Villa, but will a spot in that competition next season be deemed a success for Chelsea? I don’t think it would be and therefore Mauricio Pochettino has got to get them into the Europa League at the very least.
“They’ve got no European football to contend with and so their focus will solely be on their Premier League performances and they’ve got to improve and push themselves up the table. As I said, the Europa League has to be the target as they are miles off the top-four.
“If I was to make a prediction on where they’ll finish, I’d say ninth or 10th. It’s remarkable to think that, but that’s where they are now.”