Chelsea and Frank Lampard know consistency will be key to ensuring they are playing Champions League football at Stamford Bridge in the 2020/2021 season.
Chelsea are hitting top form at just the right time.
The Blues maintained their three-point lead over Manchester United after both teams won against Everton and Manchester City respectively this weekend.
Frank Lampard’s side thumped the Toffees 4-0 at Stamford Bridge and are next in action when they face relegation threatened Aston Villa at Villa Park, with top-four rivals effectively from fifth-placed United all the way down to Arsenal in action next weekend.
Manchester City’s two-year ban from the Champions League is to be appealed, but if the decision stands fifth-place becomes all the more important as it will come with a place in Europe’s top tier competition next season.
But on the safe side, it’s best to aim for a top-four finish and with as many as eight teams battling for one position, it is going to come down to who can stay consistent.
Chelsea have now amassed 48 points after 29 games, Man United are their nearest challengers with 45 points. Wolves and Sheffield United are locked on 42 points after 29 and 28 games respectively, while Tottenham Hotspur are on 41 points.
Meanwhile Arsenal are on 40 points and have a game in hand which is against Man City next week.
So what does this all mean for Chelsea, Lampard and the top-four battle?
Well, the maximum number of points United can now achieve is 72 – provided they win all nine of their remaining matches, but the Blades can still get 73 because of their game in hand. For Spurs it is 68, and Arsenal’s maximum points total is 70 if they can remain perfect between now and May.
Lampard’s side also have nine games left in their season, and the Blues could achieve a maximum of 75 points by the end of the campaign.
As a result, 74 points will be enough to seal yet another top-four finish.
Eight wins and a draw would be the dream scenario. However, with games against fellow contenders to come as well as team around them playing each other, 74 points might not be the magic total after all.