Chelsea’s place in the Premier League’s top four looked guaranteed when Thomas Tuchel was hired in January. The German has led the team to consecutive wins, and the results have generally been really good.
However, the Blues were brought down to earth after a humbling 5-2 defeat to West Bromwich Albion. This remains the only defeat Chelsea have suffered under Tuchel in the Premier League.
The good thing, though, is that the club has so far responded very well to the setback. Right after losing to West Brom, Chelsea put up a scintillating performance as they beat Manchester City to reach the final of the FA Cup.
As impressive as that is, the Blues currently find themselves out of the top four places in the Premier League ahead of their game against Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday.
Chelsea can break into top four with a win
The race for the top four is getting tougher but Chelsea can regain their spot in the Champions League places if they record a win over Brighton.
Fortunately for the Blues, all their rivals dropped points this week. West Ham United lost 3-2 to Newcastle United while Liverpool also dropped points after being held to a 1-1 draw by Leeds United.
That leaves Chelsea with a great opportunity to usurp the aforementioned teams on the league table. This is a must-win game and they cannot afford to disappoint.
Should the Blues beat Brighton on Tuesday, they would move up to third, albeit temporarily, with Leicester City set to face West Brom later on Thursday.
Distraction of Super League talks
While Chelsea look primed to break into the top four, there is a tendency that the controversy generated from the proposed Super League could prove to be a distraction.
The Blues are one of six Premier League clubs that have signed up to the idea. The others are Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham.
Tuchel has already expressed concern with the uproar from fans and the football community and hopes his players will not get distracted ahead of such an important game.
"The players and me trust the club, we are employees. It's best we don't get involved in sports politics and this situation. It's above our heads,” the Blues boss said, as quoted by Goal.
"It's a big subject, everyone is talking. It's maybe impossible for the players not to be influenced by it but it's too early and there are a lot of opinions out there. Hopefully we can stay calm, have the influence to the players so they don't get distracted, and hopefully we can bring the performance to tomorrow's game."
Liverpool were booed and jeered ahead of their game against Leeds United on Monday and that could be playing on the minds of Chelsea’s players before kickoff.