Chelsea FC Facing Most Important Run Of The Season


Tuesday’s amazing win over Schalke cleared the way for Chelsea FC to focus on the Premier League until February, when the Champions League will become serious again. Even though they will still play Sporting Lisbon at home in two weeks, the game is inconsequential, because the Blues have already clinched the No.1 spot in Group G. Even with the return of the Capital One Cup in December, and the FA Cup in January, every Blues fan will admit the Premier League is, and should be, the focus for now.

Why? Because the next several weeks present a chance to pull away from other teams that the rest of the season may not afford.

Chelsea travel to Sunderland on Saturday, in a game that will see the Blues hunting for revenge after last season’s controversial (and title killing) 2-1 home loss. They then return home to face off against cross town rivals Tottenham, and then travel back to the northeast for a game at Newcastle, all in a week’s time.

These fixtures are by no means cake walks. Sunderland has been poor, but they have shown some potential, and managed to beat Crystal Palace 3-1. Tottenham has been incredibly disappointing, but they have talent, and could strike Chelsea unexpectedly.

Newcastle has been the oddest team of the season. For the early part of the campaign, the team was horrid, and a massive “Sack Pardew” campaign was underway. But suddenly, the team turned it around, and has pulled off five straight wins, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham have all fallen victim.

Chelsea then play Hull, Stoke and West Ham, before finishing the year against Southampton, who currently sit second in the table.

From now until the end of the year, there is no reason why the Blues can’t — and shouldn’t — get maximum points from every game. All the games will be challenges (every team wants to beat the leaders), but the form that Chelsea are in right now, and the fact that no one is injured, means that this is a golden opportunity for Chelsea to pick up even more points.

The importance of this run grows when you take a look at Southampton’s schedule. S’Town have looked surprisingly strong all year, given that their manager and half the team left over the summer. But even with that, they have looked great, and Ronald Koeman is getting calls for Manager of the Year.

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However, the Saints are in for a fun run of games. They face City, Arsenal and United in the coming fixtures, the same period that Chelsea face Sunderland, Spurs and Newcastle. They also will play Everton, and of course Chelsea. Southampton will get points from some of those games, but they will be worn out, and will inevitably drop points against one of those teams.

The run into the New Year offers a chance which Chelsea can’t afford to pass up on. If they were to get maximum points from all games, their point total would be at 53. That would set the Blues on course for 106 points, shattering their previous record points total.

With only two cup games in this period, getting up big on opponents now would mean that the Blues could secure the Premier League, in effect, in the winter, and then turn their attention to other competitions (e.g. FA, Capital One, Champions Cups). This is a big run for Chelsea, and they can’t afford to lose their focus, now.