Mauricio Pochettino hopes Chelsea can use the FA Cup to qualify for Europe next season despite their indifferent Premier League form.
The Blues host Preston at Stamford Bridge in the third round on Saturday and will be looking for respite for what has been a mixed league campaign during the manager’s first six months in charge.
They currently sit 10th, with an 11-point gap to make up on fifth and what would be a guaranteed spot in the Europa League.
How the Premier League table changed over the #FestiveFixtures period pic.twitter.com/jjMPKvfPTu
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 3, 2024
A successful cup run culminating in victory in the Wembley final in May would earn them a place in the competition next term, whilst they will also be looking to secure a back-up spot in the Conference League by winning the Carabao Cup.
Pochettino’s side face Middlesbrough in the semi-final of that competition over two legs beginning on Tuesday, with the second leg set for January 23.
But with little sign so far of the co