Chelsea were sitting down in eighth place in the Premier League title, five points outside of the Champions League places and having played 1-2 games more than many of the teams above us when Frank Lampard was relieved of his duties in late January.
In came Thomas Tuchel, who started his career at Stamford Bridge with six wins from his first 10 Premier League matches (4 draws) prior to defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion at the start of April, four days ahead of our Champions League quarter-final first leg versus FC Porto.
The defeat at home to West Brom saw the Blues drop out of the top four for the first time since the German coach had taken us there. With seven games remaining we are just one point behind West Ham United in fourth, and a further point behind Leicester City directly above the Hammers.
Chelsea go to West Ham on 24 April, their next Premier League game after hosting Brighton & Hove Albion next week. Before both of those matches, we face Manchester City in an FA Cup semi-final. The Citizens are looking to win an historic quadruple this season.
We could still win a double ourselves this season – we’re in the aforementioned final four of the FA Cup, and also the semi-finals of the Champions League, where we will take on either Real Madrid or Liverpool, with the first leg at the end of this month.
These cup competitions mean Tuchel will have to rotate our squad as a much needed rest for some players will be required. This didn’t help in our home loss to West Brom, but with a favourable fixture list over the next couple of weeks hopefully we’ll maintain our push for the top four, if not be in the Champions League places to start May.
Our next Premier League opponents, Brighton, have taken seven points from their last four matches, moving them closer to safety. However, they’ll still need more points in their final fixtures so you can expect them to give us a competitive game at Stamford Bridge. Anyone wanting to back us may want to consider utilizing those acca insurance offers in case we don’t take the three points. This game comes three days after facing Manchester City and four days before travelling to West Ham.
Midweek fixtures are on the card for the majority of the final weeks of the season, with at least two more Champions League matches guaranteed.
On the list of upcoming games after Brighton, we host Fulham a few days after our Champions League semi-final first leg, which would either be in Madrid or Merseyside. The second leg is a week later, so our West London rivals can expect to face a much-weakened Chelsea side that weekend.
After our European games we then have a challenging final four games of the season – Manchester City (away), Arsenal (home), Leicester City (home) and Aston Villa (away). Fortunately, the rest in between games should give us a fighting chance to take the points we need from these games to finish in the top four.
Leicester are also set to have a favourable upcoming fixture list – West Brom (home), Crystal Palace (home), Southampton (away) and Newcastle United (away) before they go to Manchester United and us in mid-May and finish the season at home to Tottenham Hotspur.
West Ham are currently in the driving seat and aside from us and Everton the next visitors to the London Stadium the majority of their final fixtures are against current bottom half sides.
Can Chelsea finish in the 2020-21 Premier League season in the top four? Absolutely!