Time to focus
Chelsea failed to impress in the 2015/2016 Premier League campaign, with the team finishing the season in tenth place in the standings, but they have been producing scintillating displays under Antonio Conte this term. The Blues are on the right track to regain the domestic trophy, but they will have to be at their sharpest in the remainder of the season if they are to lift the prestigious silverware.
Despite dropping two points in a 1-1 draw with Burnley, Chelsea remained in top position in the Premier League standings. The Blues are leading the chase for the title and they are eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City. The league leaders have been impressive under Antonio Conte this season and they look solid at the back. Chelsea have already kept 13 clean sheets in the 2016/2017 Premier League campaign and they are likely to rely on their rock-solid defence in the remainder of the season. The Blues have turned their Stamford Bridge into a real fortress, but they need to keep on winning on home soil if they are to clinch the title. On the other hand, the Blues recorded only one win in previous four away fixtures and that is the main reason why a number of football predictions suggest that the game against West Ham United at London Stadium will be anything but a walk in the park for Antonio Conte’s team.
Tricky fixture list
Chelsea aim to start a new winning run in the English top flight and they are regarded as hot favourites to beat Swansea City at their Stamford Bridge on Matchday 26, but the Welsh outfit should not be written off just yet. The Swans experienced all sorts of problems in the first half of the season, but new boss Paul Clement helped the team regain a much-needed confidence. The Liberty Stadium outfit have been making progress week by week and it has to be noted that they recorded three wins in previous four league fixtures. Anyhow, the Blues can’t afford any complacency in the upcoming fixture against Paul Clement’s men.
Chelsea will face aforementioned West Ham United on day 27 and the game against the fellow capital club could well decide the Premier League champion. Slaven Bilic’s charges have been scoring goals for fun of late and despite the fact that key player Dimitri Payet left the club in the January transfer window, the Hammers are definitely capable of making life difficult for the Blues in the London derby.
Antonio Conte’s troops should face a difficult task in March’s game against Stoke City as the Potters are tough to beat at their Bet365 Stadium. The Potters are on a seven-game unbeaten run on home soil at the moment and they are definitely capable of claiming a major scalp on Matchday 29. When the two teams met in Staffordshire last season Stoke City recorded a hard-fought 1-0 win over Chelsea, with Marko Arnautovic scoring the winning goal for Mark Hughes’ team.
Chelsea need to collect as many points as possible from aforementioned games as they face a tough fixture list in April. The Blues will take on second-placed Manchester City at their Stamford Bridge on day 31 and a win over Pep Guardiola’s team would see the capital club move one step closer to clinching the Premier League trophy. Ten days later the Blues will square off against Manchester United at Old Trafford and, no doubt, Jose Mourinho and his men will give their all to beat the Special One’s former club at the “Theatre of Dreams”. The Blues will take on the likes of Middlesbrough, WBA and Sunderland in the season finale, meaning that the games against the Manchester clubs should be Chelsea’s priority.
Chelsea do not take part in European competitions this season and, as a result, many football predictions suggest that they will win the national championship without any difficulties. However, the Stamford Bridge club are still playing on two fronts and I believe that Antonio Conte should use the FA Cup clash against Wolverhampton to rest his key players. The lack of fitness could prove to be a big problem for Diego Costa in the remainder of the season and there is every chance summer signing Michy Batshuayi will deployed as lone striker against the Championship side. Eden Hazard should be rested against Wolves as well, but the likes of Willian and Pedro are definitely capable of making life difficult for the opposition defenders.
Speaking of Pedro, the former Barcelona man was struggling to find his best form during Jose Mourinho’s spell with the Stamford Bridge outfit, but he has established himself as one of Chelsea’s key players under Antonio Conte. Full-back Marcos Alonso is yet another footballer who has been playing above expectations in the 2016/2017 Premier League campaign and, no doubt, he will play an important role in Antonio Conte’s team in the remainder of the season. Nonetheless, Eden Hazard is undisputedly the team’s key player and his wonder goal against Arsenal helped the Blues cement top position in the standings. The Belgian superstar looks unstoppable at the moment, but as I have already mentioned, he should not be risked in the FA Cup game against Wolverhampton. Even though many people expected that Diego Costa would leave the club in January, the Spain international is still part of the team and he is likely to lead the line for the Blues in the upcoming league fixtures. Costa has netted 15 goals in the national championship so far this season.
Chelsea defensive trio Azpilicueta – Cahill – David Luiz has been in perfect working order this season. The team is well balanced and seeing that manager Antonio Conte has no injury worries at the moment, it is no surprise that general football predictions are pointing towards the Stamford Bridge outfit winning the domestic trophy. The Blues suffered only one defeat in previous 19 league games and considering that they are eight points clear of Manchester City, who has been having their ups and downs this season, I am positive that the capital club will win their fifth Premier League title in the 21st century.
About the author:
Ignacio del Valle Ruiz, a true fan of football, is one of the founders of FootballPredictions.com. He also manages the content team behind the website, Twitter and Facebook. In his spare time he enjoys winning FIFA games.