Mikel hopes to avoid Chelsea disaster

Benitez tipped to replace Villas-Boas

CHELSEA midfielder John Obi Mikel admits it would be a ‘disaster’ if the Blues failed to attain a top-four in the Premier League table.

The west London side currently lie fifth in the Premier League, 17 points behind leaders Manchester City.

Their spot in next year’s tournament is being threatened by their poor domestic performances, and the Blues have won just once in their last five games.

The Nigeria international insisted the Blues must finish in the top four to ease the pressure on the club and, then they can look to establish a fresh title bid next season.

“We must finish in the top four, anything less than that is disaster. That will ease the pressure off us to look forward to a better season where we can think of winning the title,” Mikel said.

However, former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez could make a shock return to the Premier League as Chelsea’s caretaker boss if they dump Andre Villas-Boas.

It is claimed the man who orchestrated that incredible Champions League final comeback in 2005 is high on the list of possible replacements for the Portuguese should the Blues exit a competition which has become an obsession for Roman Abramovich.

Atletico Bilbao boss Marcelo Bielsa is also on Chelsea’s hit list. The ex-Argentina boss is regarded as an innovator, is vastly experienced and has a strong reputation within the game.

Benitez has been out of work since being forced out of Inter Milan in 2010 after a misfiring attempt to replace former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho at the San Siro.

But he has the advantage of having got the best from misfiring Stamford Bridge striker Fernando Torres during the final years of his Anfield reign.

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