Alan Shearer fears Chelsea will deny Newcastle Champions League place


Newcastle old boy Alan Shearer fears Chelsea could deny his hometown club their Champions League dream.

The Magpies are currently locked in a battle with Arsenal, Tottenham and the Blues for the two places left up for grabs, with Manchester duo United and City already assured of first and second places in the Barclays Premier League table.

Alan Pardew's men currently occupy fourth, a position they could cement with victory at Wigan on Saturday.

However, Chelsea's remarkable semi-final victory over Barcelona on Tuesday night booked them a Champions League final clash with Bayern Munich on May 19, and should they win that game and finish outside the top four they would secure automatic qualification for next season's competition along with only the top three.

Shearer told the Journal: "It's amazing what Newcastle have done. I hope I am wrong, but it would be just Newcastle's luck to finish fourth and Chelsea go and win the Champions League.

"I obviously want Newcastle to finish fourth, but I would also like Chelsea to go on and win the Champions League after the season they have had - not if it's at Newcastle's expense of qualifying for the Champions League though.

"It's a tough scenario."

Whatever else happens this season, Newcastle have already exceeded expectations by assuring themselves of a top-six finish at worst, and anything better would be a huge bonus.

Even if they were to miss out on the Champions League, they would play in the Europa League, their reward for a fine campaign.

Shearer, of course, was parachuted back into the club in a vain attempt to prevent them from being relegated at the end of the 2008-09 season, but could not pull off a rescue mission.

However, he has been hugely impressed at the recovery since fostered first by Chris Hughton, and then by Pardew.

He said: "It's been an incredible season. It's worked out well for Papiss Cisse since he arrived.

"Demba Ba has stopped scoring goals and done an incredible job for the team, so Cisse has come in and started to score the goals. He has taken that on from where Ba left off.

"I hope Newcastle can finish the season off in style with Cisse scoring goals and getting them up to fourth."

Shearer was part of the last Newcastle team to reach the Champions League, and scored a hat-trick against Bayer Leverkusen and two goals against Inter Milan at the San Siro after they reached the second group stage in 2002-03.