Chelsea's fight for a top-four place will go down to the wire, says Maurizio Sarri

Maurizio Sarri has predicted Chelsea’s top-four fight will go down to the final day of the Premier League season.
Chelsea have revived their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League through finishing in the top four with victories against Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham.
Tottenham’s stumble has also pulled Mauricio Pochettino’s team back into the battle, meaning Chelsea, Spurs, Manchester United and Arsenal are fighting for two places in the top four.
Arsenal entertain Manchester United at the Emirates on Sunday, which gives Chelsea the opportunity to take advantage by beating Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier the same day.

However, no matter what happens this weekend or when Chelsea play their game in hand against Brighton in April, Sarri believes the third and fourth places will not be decided until the last day of the season.

“We have two big opportunities,” said head coach Sarri.
“This match (against Wolves), and when we play the match against Brighton. But I think we are fighting and we will be fighting for the top four until the last minute of the last match. Every match will be important in our future.”
Sarri was on the brink of being sacked after the thrashing by Manchester City and FA Cup defeat to United, but the Italian has seen his team win four of their last five games in all competitions and only lose to City in the final of the Carabao Cup on penalties.
“For me, it was really very important the performance in the final against Manchester City,” said Sarri. “Two weeks before that match we lost 6-0 in Manchester. A fortnight later, the players were able to play at the same level as them, so that was important for our confidence.

“In the end, the Kepa situation was a good thing for our group, too. In the last five matches, we won four matches and drew against Manchester City. In five matches, we conceded only one goal. So we are improving in consistency. But we have to be careful. We had a long period of good results in the past and then, suddenly, two weeks of disaster. So we have to be careful.”

Sarri should not need to warn his players against complacency for the visit of Wolves after Chelsea were beaten at Molineux in December having taken the lead and the 60-year-old was planning to remind himself what went wrong.

“I want to watch it again,” he said. “It's not a long time ago, but we have played 35 matches in the time since. All the staff will study these opponents. I remember very well that, after the goal at 1-1, we stopped playing. We were in trouble and stopped completely to play. We only started again in the last 10 minutes. I need to study that match very well. We need to arrive in this match with the right level of preparation and mentality.

“If you stop to play, you can lose against any team. If you stop to play against Manchester City, you can lose 6-0. We stopped after 50-55 minutes for 20 minutes at Wolverhampton and that was enough to lose the game. When I speak about us improving our mentality and consistency, I am speaking about these problems.”

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