As we approach a potentially very challenging few weeks ahead much talk is of our F.A Cup 5th Round tie against Manchester United, League Cup Final against Manchester City and our Premier League game verses Spurs. Don’t get me wrong I get and understand the importance of these but our two legged game against Malmo in the first knockout stage of the Europa League should definitely not be dismissed.

Above the final league table in Group L where Chelsea topped the group in style winning 5 games and drawing 1.

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It’s a great opportunity to utilise the squad and play young players like Ampadu and Hudson – Odoi and give the squad’s fringe players an opportunity to also impress the manager.

Let’s be honest getting in the top 4 in the Premier League this season isn’t guaranteed although we could still do it. But as we all know now winning the Europa League ensures qualification to the Champions League for the following season. However, this competition is not always seen as important but at this current stage it could be vital for us!

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Not only is it a European trophy up for grabs but I’ve never known the knockout stage to look so weak. Usually we see big teams drop down into the competition having finished third in their Champions League groups. Similar to what we did in 2012/13.

A recent poll on twitter proves the Europa League could effectively save our season. It does however still baffles me that 21% would just prefer to finish in the top 4!

Before we dismiss the Europa League let’s not forget how fantastic that night in Amsterdam was and that it’s arguably the most important trophy we have a genuine chance of winning!

It shouldn’t be devalued and perceived as not important especially now we have progressed to the knockout stages. Let’s go on and win it!

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Come On Chelsea!

Written by Chris Wright