Maurizio Sarri believes Chelsea can secure a top-four finish without needing to win all their eight remaining Premier League games.
The Blues head coach expects all the main top-four contenders to drop points between now and the end of the campaign, admitting it is too tight to put a points target on Champions League qualification.
Chelsea currently sit sixth in the table, trailing fourth-placed Arsenal by three points and four points shy of Tottenham in third.
Fifth-placed Manchester United are on the charge under new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer too, leaving Chelsea’s Italian boss loathe to predict just how many points will seal that all-important top-four berth.
‘I think that in the last period of the Premier League it will be really very hard for every team,’ said Sarri.
‘And so I think we can reach the top four also, even if we are not able to win eight matches in a row. We can’t think about points, I think we need to think match by match.
‘The best way is to be focused only on the next match at the moment.’
Chelsea’s final tilt towards a top-four finish starts at Cardiff on Sunday, as the Premier League hits full swing after the international break.
The Blues also remain in the hunt for continental honours, with a Europa League quarter-final against Slavia Prague fast approaching.
But a top-four berth retains huge Stamford Bridge significance, with Chelsea itching to hit back to form after a lacklustre 2-0 loss at Everton.