Could Chelsea Go Unbeaten?


Four games, four wins – plain sailing so far. After continuing their 100% start to the campaign with an entertaining 4-2 win over Swansea, Chelsea are deservedly favourites to clinch the title come May. A fourth Premier League trophy would certainly be impressive, but hardly a shock. However, I feel Jose Mourinho’s men are capable of cementing their legacy in a far more emphatic way; this team looks capable of doing what Arsenal did a decade ago. The ability to go through the whole season unbeaten is certainly there (and, under Mourinho, the mentality certainly is too). Let’s have a look at the candidates capable of stopping Chelsea’s charge – and the reasons why they’ll fail to do so.

Manchester City
City are probably going to be Chelsea’s main rivals for the crown towards the end of the season, and for good reason. They’ve looked lethal going forwards so far, with the returning Sergio Aguero wasting no time to get back on the scoresheet, and bench players like Stevan Jovetic stepping up to the plate. The only problem is, for all their ammunition going forwards, Chelsea know how to set up a barricade – or “park the bus”, to use a Jose-ism. Although they’ve been  decidedly more leaky at the back than usual this autumn, it’s hard to imagine a Mourinho team not settling into an unbreakable mould fairly shortly. I can see both fixtures petering out into draws, with the Blues potentially even nicking a win towards the end. Vincent Kompany, for all his plaudits, still suffers the odd inconsistency at times – and his centre back partnership with the shaky Demichelis hardly looks invincible.

Both teams are packed with creative midfielders, but this battle will be won mentally – and we all know which manager is better at getting under the other’s skin here. Arsenal’s squads have seemed soft on the inside for a long time now; they have all the ability in the world at times, yet often lose their composure at the worst moments. The midfield battle here is Chelsea’s for the taking. They have the psychological edge in the Judas-like visage of Cesc Fabregas, and while one team has Nemanja Matic shielding the back four, the other has Mathieu Flamini. I know which one I’d pick.

Liverpool & Manchester United
These games have 4-1 or 5-2 written all over them; expensive, mercenary-bolstered frontlines protected by very little. Mourinho always beats Liverpool. He just does, and will continue to do so in the face of their shaky defence this season. Speaking of shaky defences, Louis van Gaal needs to sort out his system – and fast. It’s a monumental ask of Antonio Valencia to stop the likes of Eden Hazard as part of a standard 4-4-2, let alone as a wing back. The 3-5-2 formation looks tailor-made for Chelsea’s midfielders to slice open, as does the flat-footed backline at Anfield.

I joke of course, but one needs to look no further than the Black Cats’ shock 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge last season to find the most likely source of a Chelsea defeat. There’s a reason unbeaten teams come along once in a lifetime (or even less frequently). Everybody has off days, and everybody suffers bad luck at some point. I don’t foresee one of Mourinho’s top six rivals besting him this season, but if any team is to beat Chelsea it’ll probably be a struggler. Not necessarily a team in the very depths of the relegation zone, more likely a Stoke or a Leicester. If the Blues can avoid these seemingly inevitable slip-ups they could well be on their way to immortality.

I’ll hold my hands up and admit that this has been an incredibly audacious article, but I firmly believe Chelsea are capable of it. They look a little suspect at the back (the Arsenal team of 03/04 were hardly watertight), but are unquestionably unstoppable going forward.

Having said all that, they’ll probably go on to lose 5-0 at the Etihad next weekend.