Two points. That’s what stands between Chelsea and the title. Two points. The Blues host 12th place Crystal Palace on Sunday, with a victory securing them the Premier League.
Led by captain John Terry, the Blues completed a comeback victory over Leicester City at King Power Stadium. The Tigers took a 1-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. However, following what must have been a pretty powerful speech from Jose at the half, the Blues came out revitalized and evened the score just three minutes into the second half through their stalwart, Didier Drogba. John Terry scored off of a rebound during a corner kick in the 79’ minute to give the Blues their lead. Ramires secured their victory with a powerful shot in the 83’ minute to seal the three points for the Blues.
Crystal Palace fell to 15th place Hull City at the weekend. Hull scored two goals at Selhurst Park which secured a vital three points for the visitors. Palace travels to Stamford Bridge, knowing that a win, and West Ham and Everton loss will see them move into 10th place in the Premier League. Chelsea however, enter the game with much more to play for.
Should the Blues record a victory on Sunday, they will be crowned champions with three games still to be played. This is important to Jose Mourinho, because it will allow him to play some of the younger kids and help to transition them into first team Premier League football. Players to feature in those games will include at the very least, Ruben Loftus Cheek, Izzy Brown, Nathan Ake, Dominic Solanke (especially considering Chelsea’s striker injury woes), and Andres Christensen. It would be great to see these players get a few runs in, as they will most likely have some role in next season’s campaign.
Crystal Palace have had a pretty good season considering they are only one year into the Premier League. Coached by Alan Pardew, the Eagles enter the game with 2 losses in their last 2 games. They will be looking to turn their form around, but will find it difficult against a surging Chelsea squad.
The Blues should get a lift with Loic Remy expected to make his return to the starting lineup, missing the last few games with injury. Remy adds pace and dynamic runs up top, the type of plays that we can no longer expect from Didier Drogba. Although the Ivorian still is a scoring threat, he should not be relied upon as heavily as we have the last few games. Remy will boost our attacking options, with a strong ability to make runs in behind defenders as well as holding the ball up. Chelsea should also expect Courtois to make his return to goal after picking up a slight hip injury before Wednesday’s game against Leicester City.
Chelsea would do well to clinch the title this weekend. They would get to win in front of their home crowd at Stamford Bridge, as well as allow Jose Mourinho to play some youth players in the last couple of games. Expect Eden Hazard to have an exceptional game, as well as Remy to once again find the back of the net. My prediction is the Blues win in spectacular fashion, defeating the Eagles 3-0 to win the league. The scorers will be Hazard, Remy and one of our defenders, probably Ivanovic, who lives for these moments. Either way, expect to see confetti and champagne at Sunday’s match.
Contribution from Tyler Strauss