Chelsea get a fresh boost in the Europa League ahead of Brighton with Newcastle and Man United injury strikes

Chelsea’s chances of securing a top-six finish in the Premier League have been boosted by the latest injury news for their two rivals. Mauricio Pochettino’s side travel to Brighton on Wednesday and can at least secure seventh place with a win, while Manchester United host Newcastle.

The Blues could end the night in sixth place and need just one point on the final day to confirm that spot which could bring Europa League qualification. There is also the slim possibility of chasing fifth-placed Tottenham, who should lose both of their games – at home to Manchester City on Tuesday and away to Sheffield United on the final day.

Chelsea meet Bournemouth on Sunday to end the season, but first they go to the Amex Stadium in fine form after winning their third game in a row thanks to a comeback victory over Nottingham Forest at the weekend. Earlier in the day, Newcastle left the door ajar for Chelsea and United in the battle for European places, held by Brighton.

It means that should Manchester United beat Newcastle at Old Trafford, Chelsea could find themselves on the verge of sealing a place in the Europa League. With the caveat that they must win against Brighton – they haven’t beaten the Seagulls away from home in front of a home crowd since 2018 – and that if United win the FA Cup but finish eighth, sixth would only be enough for the Conference League . qualification.

United’s poor form has made the FA Cup seem like a formality for the second year in a row. Manchester City head into the penultimate league game on the back of seven wins in a row and continue to push for a double as they approach the game as comfortable favourites.

Meanwhile, Erik ten Hag’s side will have to rely on a win at Wembley if results don’t go their way next week, but for now there is a chance to finish above both Chelsea and Newcastle. They could remain in eighth place but level with Eddie Howe’s side with a win on Wednesday, only behind on a much weaker goal difference.

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