We’ve reached the point of the season where we have practically nothing to play for, and while that’s come with the associated disappointments of our Champions League exit and FA Cup final defeat, thankfully it’s also come with a top-four finish assured.
So, we have two home games in the span of four days to close out the season. Just one point earned from those two will guarantee a third place finish, along with the minor increase in prize money and a slight boost to our pride and professionalism that would come with that. But really, these are just two laps of appreciation for the season that’s been, a season that didn’t quite live up to the heightened expectations, but still can certainly be classified as “good”.
Our opponents won’t have much to play for either. Leicester cannot finish higher than eighth, while Watford, who come to town on Sunday, have already been relegated.
Given all that, injuries and knocks might suddenly feel a bit more painful. Timo Werner and Kai Havertz were ruled out of Saturday’s final with muscle concerns, while Andreas Christensen had concerns of a different nature. Thiago Silva got a kick to the knee though was able to grit out all 120 minutes; Mateo Kovačić on the other hand lasted just a little over 60 on a left ankle the size of two normal ankles. Meanwhile, the Callum Hudson-Odoi mystery rolls on, and Ben Chilwell keeps making excellent progress towards a return next season.
We haven’t seen any Academy faces in training so far this week, but hopefully they will get a chance to pick up some of these minutes.