Rafael Benitez will not be at Chelsea next season - he knows he is just interim manager - so why would he care if Chelsea qualify for the Champions League?

He is more interested in winning the FA Cup or Europa League so he can add it to his CV.

At Southampton on Saturday a number of his first choice players did not feature with Eden Hazard, Ashley Cole, Demba Ba, David Luiz and Ramires all dropped to the bench, while Juan Mata was out through injury.

The loss at Southampton sees them slip to fourth, two points behind Tottenham and only two points ahead of Arsenal in the race for a top-four finish.

But in the FA Cup game against Manchester United on Monday all of these players were brought back in to the starting line-up.

Their win over United set up a semi-final clash with Manchester City on April 14 to be played at Wembley Stadium; and with them still being in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, facing Rubin Kazan on Thursday and again in Moscow on 11 April, their fixture list is beginning to pile up.

With so many games coming up it is no wonder Benitez is rotating his squad but it appears that he is picking his stronger teams for the cup competitions, leaving their qualification for the Champions League uncertain.

Roman Abramovich has always seemingly prioritised the Champions League over any other competition, and Benitez will know that Abramovich wants Chelsea playing Champions League football next year.

 

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