Burnley-Chelsea Preview

The Associated Press

Despite dropping their most recent top-flight match, Chelsea still have a shot at a top-four finish in the Premier League. Burnley, meanwhile, look to be secure from relegation as this season winds down.

The Blues can get back on track by doing the double over Burnley, who will be aiming for a season-high fourth consecutive victory, on Monday night at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea's 2-0 loss at Liverpool last weekend ended the club's three-game Premier League winning streak. However, that setback did not keep the Blues (20-6-8) from beating Slavia Prague 4-3 on Thursday to claim the aggregate and advance to the semi-finals of the Europa League.

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That competition offers Chelsea another opportunity to reach the Champions League, though as is the case in the Premier League, rivals Arsenal could stand in their way. The Blues are currently in the mix with the Gunners, Spurs and Manchester United for the final two of the top-four finishing spots in the Premier League.

On the Europa front, it's possible Chelsea and Arsenal will meet in the final of Europe' second-tier tournament. That's down the road, at the moment, the Blues are only concerned with the task at hand.

"(The win over Slavia Prague) gives us confidence for the final games of the season," veteran Pedro, who had two goals with an assist against Prague, told Chelsea's official website. "Now, we need to stay calm … And now to prepare well for Burnley, because it's another very important game for us."

The Blues pounded Burnley 4-0 on Oct. 28 in the reverse fixture at Turf Moor. Four different players scored for Chelsea in handling the Clarets, who were amidst their worst stretch of the Premier League season at the time whilst going 0-2-6.

Back then, and even more recently, there was a realistic chance that Burnley (11-6-17) would be in serious danger of relegation. However, the Clarets have won three straight league games following a four-match losing streak.

Burnley, who began their 2018-19 season also competing in the Europa League, sit on 39 points, one shy of the magic number 40, that's usually associated with Premier League safety.

"We have four important and tough games coming up, as do the others," manager Sean Dyche told Burnley's official website. "There's lots to play for and we have to continue to play hard to get what we want. It's not done until its done, but we are on a good run of three wins, very important wins, and good performances that have backed those up."

Burnley helped their cause immensely last weekend with a 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Cardiff City. Chris Wood registered both goals for the Clarets - in the 31st minute and then in second-half stoppage time.

"It was a fantastic result (last) weekend," Burnley defender Ben Mee said. "You can't take (safety) for granted in this league. Funny things happen in football. But we'll go into these last four games enjoying them and try and pick up points and see where it takes us."

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