What do Chelsea have to do in order to ensure Champions League knockout qualification? Ajax, Valencia and Chelsea are level at 7 points each.
Frank Lampard has taken reigns of a very young Chelsea side and has managed to get the best out of them week in and out. Not many would have backed them to do as well as they are doing at the moment and yet they managed to register 6 consecutive wins in the Premier League and 7 on the trot in away matches across all competitions before they lost 2-1 to Manchester City.
With 7 points separating Chelsea at 4th place from the 5th place side, a top four finish looks very likely. However, there is also the Champions League where Frank Lampard will hope for his boys to make an impact.
At the moment, Chelsea, Valencia and Ajax have 7 points each. All of them have registered 2 wins and a draw and loss each. Chelsea beating Valencia will ensure their qualification to the knockouts. But what happens if Chelsea loses?
That is exactly what we will look at today.
What do Chelsea have to do in order to ensure Champions League knockout qualification?
In the Champions League, the goal difference is not the first tiebreaker applied to separate the sides in case two or more sides share equal points. It is the head to head result that is first taken into consideration.
Should Chelsea lose to Valencia on Wednesday and Ajax beat Lille, the Blues will have a hard time qualifying for the Knock Outs. That is because, if Ajax beat Valencia in their last match and Chelsea beat Lille, both Valencia and Chelsea will be tied on 10 points each.
With Valencia having beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, a hypothetical victory over Chelsea this week will mean that they will carry an indomitable lead over the West London side. However, if both Ajax and Chelsea lose their matches, and then win their final encounters, all 3 sides will still be level on 10 points.
Three way deadlock
This would lead to the most interesting of scenarios, because not only will they all have the same points but like Rock Paper Scissors, they would all cancel each other in the head to head scenario. Chelsea beat Ajax at Amsterdam and drew at the bridge. While Ajax would have beaten Valencia both home and away just as Valencia will have beaten Chelsea home and away.
The criteria would then revert to goal difference, goals scored, away goals, wins, away wins and disciplinary points in all group matches. And if that fails to help differentiate the trio then the UEFA Club coefficient will come into play.
Unless, Ajax suffer a heavy defeat at the hands of Lille, the Dutch side should make it to the last 16 as they currently boast of a very healthy +5 goal difference. Both Chelsea and Valencia have a goal difference of +1. Which means that even if they lose, Chelsea should hope to keep the score line as close as possible and hope to make as huge a margin as possible in their win.
If Valencia win both their matches
However, in the unlikely scenario that Valencia go on to win both their matches against Ajax and Chelsea and both Ajax and Chelsea beat Lille, then Chelsea will advance due to their superior head to head record against Ajax.
If Chelsea beat Valencia but lose to Lille
One more scenario to consider, would be Chelsea beating Valencia but losing to Lille. Should Ajax beat Valencia, both Chelsea and the Dutch champions will go through.
|Ajax||6||3 or 4||1 or 2||1 or 2||13 if they beat both Lille and Valencia. 11 or 10 if they beat Valencia but draw or lose to Lille.|
|Lille||6||0 or 1||4 or 5||1 or 2||4 or 2 or 1|
Ajax losing both their matches though, will send Valencia to the top of the table.
The last point to consider will be Chelsea drawing both or either one of their next two matches. Doing so would see the The Blues end their campaign with either 8, 9 or 11 points.If Chelsea draw and lose one of their matchesIf they end up on 8 points, the only way for them to qualify will be Ajax losing both their matches or lose one and draw one.If Chelsea draw both their matchesAt 9 points, Ajax losing both their matches will assure their qualification. Ajax winning against both Lille and Valencia will also send them through. However, Valencia beating Ajax and Ajax beating Lille will send Chelsea to the Europa instead.With 11 points, their qualification is assured regardless of the results. The matches around them will only decide whether Chelsea finish first or second in the group.Of course, if Chelsea simply win both their matches. At 13 points and a superior head to head record over Ajax, they will top the group with the match between Ajax and Valencia deciding the second place; rendering all these calculations obsolete. This is all we have about what Chelsea have to do in order to ensure Champions League knockout qualification.Click here for more football news
|Valencia||6||2 or 3||1 or 2.||2 or 3||8, 9, 11 or 12|
|Ajax||6||2||2 or 3||2 or 3||7 or 8 if they lose both or lose and draw one each.|
|Lille||6||0 or 1||3 or 4||1 or 2 or 3||1 or 2 or 3 or 4|
|Ajax||6||2, 3 or 4||3 or 2 or 1||1 or 2 or 3||13 if they win both, 7 if they lose both and 10 if they beat Lille but lose to Valencia.|
|Valencia||6||2 or 3||1 or 2||2 or 3||11 if they beat Ajax, 8 if they lose.|
|Lille||6||0 or 1||3 or 4||2||5, 2 or 1|