One big reason why Chelsea must win the Europa League or risk not playing in Champions League next season

Chelsea have qualified for the UEFA Champions League next season after their victory over Watford, combined with the failures of Arsenal and Manchester United on the same weekend, secured their place in the Premier League top four.

Arsenal drew with Brighton and Hove Albion while Man United picked up a point at Huddersfield that proved very costly for both clubs in their chase for the Champions League football next season. Chelsea however, climbed to third, above Tottenham Hotspur but a defeat on the last day of the season to Leicester City and a Spurs victory will mean the Blues will have to go through a qualification tie ahead of next season’s European premier competition.

Last season’s fourth-placed side, Liverpool were the last to do so, beating Hoffenheim before making the main competition. If Chelsea want to avoid a tricky test in a qualification match, they must secure third place on the final day of the Premier League or basically win the Europa League in Baku, and wash their hands off any undesired challenges.

A win over Leicester will grant them their wishes but the Foxes will want a swansong to their season in front of their home fans, and that makes it a tall order for Maurizio Sarri at the King Power Stadium.

So the other way out is to simply win the Europa League if they manage to go get past Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday night.