Football

High stakes as FA Cup finalists Leicester & Chelsea vie for top-4 spot

FA Cup winners Leicester City and finalists Chelsea clash again tomorrow morning (Singapore time), with a top-four spot in the English Premier League at stake this time around.

Liverpool's dramatic 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion had put the fifth-placed Reds in a favourable position to clinch the final Champions League spot.

Juergen Klopp's men are just a point behind the fourth-placed Blues and three adrift of the third-placed Foxes.

If Liverpool defeat Burnley on Thursday morning, they will move into the top four, replacing either Chelsea or Leicester.

Hence, it will be imperative for both the Blues and the Foxes to win at Stamford Bridge .

"It's still in our hands," said Thomas Tuchel, who had suffered back-to-back defeats with Chelsea for the first time after losing 1-0 to Leicester at Wembley last Saturday.

"The setback for us was the Arsenal game (a 1-0 loss at home). We let the door open so Liverpool have a foot in the door. They're a strong team and it's what they do.

"We should be aware of the huge performance we've made so far but we need to finish the job. We need to rely on ourselves because we are in the situation where we don't have to look at other grounds."

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers also believes that they are in control of their own fate and expects the league game to resemble the FA Cup final.

"Maybe neutrals are looking for 5-4 for an FA Cup final but two teams pressing, organised, not so many chances in the game," said Rodgers.

"Then... a moment of quality from Youri (Tielemans) and a moment of quality from (goalkeeper) Kasper (Schmeichel) allows us to win the cup. If it's the same tomorrow night, then I'll be really pleased."

Rodgers will be without defender Jonny Evans, who was forced off in the first half of the FA Cup final due to a foot injury. - AFP, REUTERS

Football