Rafael Benitez has confidence his players will deliver the victory against Everton that would guarantee a third-place finish in the Barclays Premier League.
We go into Sunday’s game needing a win to secure third spot, with Arsenal lurking behind in fourth and travelling to Newcastle. Tottenham, who can still take fourth ahead of the Gunners if they slip up, entertain Sunderland.
If we were to draw 0-0 against Everton and Arsenal won their game 2-1, Premier League rules dictate we would need to play an extra game against Arsene Wenger’s side to determine final positions, as we would be level on points, goal difference and goals scored, but Benitez believes his side has enough energy in the tank to make that scenario academic.
‘We want to win, I don’t expect any draw,’ he said. ‘If Arsenal win we will see, but also Tottenham can say something. We are just talking about Chelsea and Arsenal but maybe Tottenham can be there. We have to approach the day for us thinking about to win and after see what happens.
‘Tottenham and Arsenal will both try to win. They play for something important, it will be different for Sunderland and Newcastle but they are professional and will try to win. We have to concentrate on what we can do and try to win our game. We have been working so hard in the season that it would be a pity if we could not finish in the top three.
‘We will try to win and we won’t consider any other option. If we have to do it, these are the rules, but we will try to avoid the situation. I have confidence we will do it.’
Benitez will be without John Terry, Ryan Bertrand and Eden Hazard for the final game of the season, but Demba Ba is available having been cup-tied for our Europa League win on Wednesday.
‘Yesterday we had a day off. Today was a more difficult training session because the players were relaxed but hopefully everybody will be focused and concentrated. The players know how important it is and hopefully we will be fine.’
Benitez will take charge of his final Premier League game as Chelsea manager on Sunday, and believes he leaves a side that is capable of challenging for the league title next season.
‘It’s a very good group of players and I think the club will add some new players,’ said the Spaniard. ‘I am sure they will try to improve and the team will be better because they will have more experience, and new players can come in and push.
‘The problem we had this year was too many games. Two games a week for the whole season is difficult to see the real level. If you played less competition, I think you can manage better and with fresh legs win even more games.
‘[For me] it’s always sad when you have a group growing, improving and winning, and then you have to go. But we knew, so we just have to be ready for the next game and then the trip to America.’
It will also be David Moyes’s final game in charge of Everton as the Scot prepares to take over from Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Benitez believes both men will be hard to replace.
‘David Moyes did a good job. He has for years kept the team in the top eight or six,’ he said. ‘We were rivals for a while and will be on Sunday but after this game I wish him all the best.
‘After Ferguson and United everyone will have trouble to do the same as he did. He can do a good job but we will see. The support of Ferguson will be key for him.’