Wednesday 17 January 2018

The five fixtures that could cost Chelsea the Premier League title

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho

Niall O'Leary

With 14 games left Mourinho's Chelsea side find themselves seven points clear at the top of the table, if they are going to throw it away now, where are they going to drop points.

Some bookies have already paid out on the Pensioners to win the league but Mourinho will be wary of a Man City side that are close on their heels should they slip up.

Its not the first time City have found themselves adrift from the leaders, the heroic scenes of Sergio Aguero running towards the corner flag waving his jersey in the air when they landed the 2011/12 title reminds us all too clearly of what City are capable of.

They were eight points behind leaders United with only six games to go that year but as the final days comes closer and closer, "Squeaky-bum time" begins.

Here are five fixtures that may cause Chelsea the most difficulty between now and May.

1. West Ham vs Chelsea- Wednesday, March 4

The upcoming fixture away to Sam Allardyce's West Ham side should be a big test. Chelsea play Spurs on March 1 in the League Cup final and then only three days later they visit the Hammers.

West Ham have broken club records this season and are still in contention for a place in Europe.

Big Sam will see this fixture as a chance to hit back for the loss at Stamford Bridge on Stephen's day which was a turning point for his side, unbeaten in six going into the match, the 2-0 defeat would be the start of a bad spell of results for the east London side, who would go another five games without a win pushing them out of the top four.

Chelsea also play Paris St.Germain the following week, should they decide to rest players for the West Ham game it could prove costly.

 

2. Chelsea vs Man United- Saturday April 18

This games marks the start of a run where the Blues play United, Arsenal and Liverpool over the space of four fixtures.

These three teams are part of five fighting for just two Champions League places and know any dropped points could be fatal.

United will fancy their chances of getting a result in London in the hope that it will be points gained that the others won't. Van Gaal will also be hoping to prove that Mourinho is still his protégé and save himself some blushes against his former assistant.

 

3. Arsenal vs Chelsea- Saturday April 25

At the start of the season the North London faithful wanted Wenger out, eager to spend money and return to the heights of the "Invincibles".

Wenger brought in Alexis Sanchez in the summer and although he has given the gunners a new spark, the usual mid-season injury crisis the has plagued Arsenal so often leaves them in the usual position, aimlessly plundering in and out of the Champions League places.

Chelsea have played United the Saturday before and whatever way that result goes Wenger will see this as an opportunity to give his side some breathing room, while also silencing the fans who at this stage will be breathing down his neck.

 

4. Chelsea vs Liverpool- Saturday May 9

Steven Gerrard will never be able to forget the unfortunate events of this fixture in Anfield last season. The fan favourite and Liverpool hero's slip costing Liverpool the result and ultimately the title. This fixture is one that gives Liverpool a chance to do what Chelsea did to them last season while at the same time gain three points, which is becoming a necessity in every game in the final push for Champions League.

 

5. West Brom vs Chelsea- Saturday May 16

In the penultimate game of the season, Mourinho's men visit the Hawthorns.

Jose will hope to have the season wrapped up before this fixture, the Baggies will most likely be hovering in and around the relegation zone and the points at stake here are pivotal for both teams.

The introduction of Tony Pulis, arguably the most successful manager it recent years when it comes to avoiding relegation gives West Brom great hope of survival this season.

This tricky away fixture could test the nerves of the youngsters in the Chelsea set up and the game here could prove to be the one that makes or breaks their season.

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