Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea welcome a relegation-threatened Burnley to Stamford Bridge on Monday evening with a chance to take a huge step towards finishing in the Premier League top-four, but there’s one mistake they need to avoid making if they are to do so – complacency.
Not following United and Arsenal’s lead
Sarri and the rest of the key figures in west London would have watched on with delight at the weekend as two of their top-four rivals slipped to shock defeats.
On Sunday afternoon, Manchester United were thrashed 4-0 by Everton at Goodison Park and Arsenal were stunned at home 3-2 by lowly Crystal Palace.
Why? Complacency is why as the two teams underestimated their opponents and lost vital ground in the race to qualify for next season’s edition of the UEFA Champions League.
On Monday, the Blues face a similar test against a side below the Toffees and the Eagles.
Sean Dyche’s Clarets, who are down in 15th place and have been battling relegation to the Sky Bet Championship for most of 2018/2019, aren’t fully safe just yet.
These results offer the West Londoners both a significant opportunity and a lead not to follow – they simply can’t afford to emulate United and Arsenal’s complacency against Burnley.
The top-four was thought to be out of Sarri’s reach after a poor start to the year, but his side are back in the mix.
Qualifying for the Champions League would offer the Italian some form of validity for his first term in English football and perhaps even save his job in the summer.
Missing out is what ultimately forced Antonio Conte out and, while qualification can still be attained through Europa League glory, the club won’t want to rely on it.
Three points against the visitors on home soil would move the Cockneys into the top four and all the way up to third position this evening.
This alone should be motivation enough for Sarri’s men to go ahead and triumph, getting revenge on the in-form Burnley for the humiliating loss of the opening day of the 17/18 season.