Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Chelsea Euro glory raises BPL stakes

27 April 2012, 09:32

England - helsea's improbable march to the Uefa Champions League final has raised the stakes as the battle for places in next season's competition resumes in the Premier League this weekend.

With leaders Manchester United not facing second-placed Manchester City in their heavyweight title duel until Monday, all eyes are on the race for a top-four spot between Arsenal, Newcastle, Tottenham and Chelsea.

Chelsea's miraculous elimination of Barcelona on Tuesday means that the once fanciful idea of the Londoners winning the competition now has to be taken seriously by their Premier League rivals.

Chelsea, who are currently four points adrift of the top four in sixth, would be guaranteed a place in next season's Champions League if they beat Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on 19 May.

Most worrying for Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle is the fact that should Chelsea finish outside the top four, their inclusion in the 2012/13 Champions League will be at the expense of the team who finishes in fourth place.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, whose side stormed into fourth last weekend after their sixth straight win, admits that he is spooked by the possibility of the Magpies missing out if Chelsea are crowned European champions.

"If that happened with us finishing fourth but missing out on the Champions League, it would be a kick in the teeth for us," Pardew said. "We don't want Chelsea to win the Champions League because we want that spot. It would be very harsh if we finished fourth and then missed out."

Newcastle will be chasing their seventh win in a row on Saturday when they travel to relegation-threatened Wigan. The Magpies are three points behind third placed Arsenal with a game in hand.


Arsenal, who have stumbled recently with a home defeat to Wigan followed by a draw at the Emirates against Chelsea, face a potentially awkward trip to Stoke, where they have lost on three out of four of their last visits.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has acknowledged that the prospect of Chelsea usurping the team which finishes fourth is "unfortunate."

"We would not be happy but it's the rules and we have to accept it," Wenger said. "We cannot change the rules just because it's us."

Chelsea meanwhile will attempt to build on the momentum generated by the elimination of Barcelona in a potentially explosive meeting with Queens Park Rangers at Stamford Bridge.

Premier League chiefs have tried to defuse controversy by abandoning the pre-match handshake at Sunday's game because of racism allegations involving John Terry and Anton Ferdinand.

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has meanwhile challenged his teammates to kick on from the heroics at the Camp Nou. "We can enjoy it, but we certainly need to keep focused," Lampard said.

"We're on a decent run of performances for sure, but the last thing we want to do is lower our standards," he said. "There's a determination among the players, people may have watched us against Wigan and Fulham recently and thought we were on our last legs, but you can't knock this team down because we'll keep coming back."


Tottenham meanwhile host struggling Blackburn in a game they can ill-afford to lose if they are to stay in touch with in-form Newcastle.

Spurs fell out of the top four for the first time since October after last weekend's defeat at QPR and now trail the Magpies by three points.

Redknapp is refusing to be unsettled by the possibility that Tottenham's quest for Champions League football next year might be doomed if Chelsea lift the title next month. "We've got to make sure we finish fourth or third, make sure we're in a position to qualify," Redknapp said. "If we don't, it doesn't matter what happens.

"It's still wide open - Arsenal, Chelsea, ourselves, Newcastle - it's still any two from four. We've got to go on a good run now. If we pull off good results in these last four games we'll be in the Champions League and I'm very confident we'll do that."



Everton v Fulham

Stoke v Arsenal

Sunderland v Bolton

Swansea v Wolves

West Brom v Aston Villa

Wigan v Newcastle

Norwich v Liverpool


Chelsea v QPR

Tottenham v Blackburn


Manchester City v Manchester United

- Sapa / AFP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What To Do If She Has A Boyfriend

Here are tips to help you get a girl who has a boyfriend: Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Kalonzo blasts DP Ruto for ‘grabb...

11 Kamba MPs declared their allegiance to Jubilee last month. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
President Uhuru Kenyatta pardons ...

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday released 7,000 petty offenders to create room in the prisons. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Why Mashujaa Day celebrations wer...

Find out why this year's Mashujaa Day celebrations were held in Machakos. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Foods that burn belly fat fast

You can take your best foods and snacks and still be able to get rid of that pot belly. Read more...