Former Chelsea and Everton winger Pat Nevin has backed Antonio Conte's side to finish in the top four and explained Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur's lack of squad depth could hamper their chances of finishing in the top four this season as they focus on the Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp has the services of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane as the three players to lead their attack. Tottenham, on the other hand, rely heavily on Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Hueng-Min Son.

Spurs face Juventus in the Champions League, while the Reds have one foot in the quarter-final of the competition following a 5-0 win over Porto. Nevin believes lack of quality players on the bench could cost the Reds and Mauricio Pochettino's men a place in the next season's Champions League.

"It is going to be a monumental run-in, but Chelsea now have to go on a run, hopefully starting with something, even a point against Man City at the weekend," Nevin told Chelsea's official website.

"After that it might come down to who has the nerve and who has the deepest squad. This could be where Liverpool, and to some extent Spurs, might struggle as the Champions League games start to take their toll.

"Liverpool are hugely reliant on having Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah all fit and firing.

"Those three haven't really stopped scoring all season but it gets harder and now that Philippe Coutinho has gone, the players who might have to come in and cover for them are not such stellar names.

"Similarly Spurs. When they don't have the trio of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Hueng-Min Son playing they can find it much harder. They also have history such as at Stamford Bridge back in 2016 when they had the title in their sights, only to self-destruct.

"There is about a quarter of the season to go and all of the top five are still in this season's Champions League, so I very strongly doubt that the league placings will stay precisely as they are between now and the middle of May.

"It could well be that this is the hardest season ever, in terms of quality, to qualify for the Champions League via the Premier League placings, but even so I do not believe we are out of it and judging by the last few displays, I think the players feel the same."

The Premier League winners suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester United at Old Trafford on 25 February. Following the loss, the west London club slipped to the fifth place in the table.

Chelsea have 53 points after 28 games and are six points behind Jose Mourinho's side, who are second in the table. Liverpool are two points behind the Red Devils, while the north London club are fourth in the table with 55 points.

Champions League trophy
Top four teams from the Premier League will have an opportunity to play in next season's Champions League Getty Images