They have won six of their last seven, scored 11 goals and have only lost once yet Chelsea still sit in third place. This amazing run started with the arrival of Guus Hiddink and has signalled a huge change in the attitude, atmosphere and most importantly results for the London club who go into the last few weeks of the season with high expectations.
People are now saying it is a two horse race, Man Utd or Liverpool are going to win the league, but discount Chelsea at your peril as they are in impressive form and are eager to regain the Premiership silverware.
The resurgence in form from star striker Didier Drogba has breathed new life into what was looking like a poor season and his run of eight goals in nine games has been invaluable. The Ivory Coast striker scored to secure Chelsea’s passage to the final of the FA Cup and also netted in the fantastic match up against Liverpool that saw his side progress to the last four of the Champions League.
Under Luiz Felipe Scolari Drogba was second choice striker behind the league’s top goalscorer Nicolas Anelka but any silverware that Chelsea get this season will be majorly down to the revival of the Chelsea favourite. It is not that Anelka’s goals have not been valuable but Drogba seems to lift the whole team and defenders’ hate to play against him.
Since the arrival of the new manager the club remain unbeaten at home, losing once on their travels against local rivals Tottenham. They go into Wednesday night’s game against Everton now knowing that this is a warm up to the FA Cup final when the two teams will meet at Wembley come the end of May. By then the fate of the Premier League trophy will have been decided and there is still a big chance it could end up at Stamford Bridge again.
Out of their remaining six games Chelsea play four teams in the top half and two in the bottom half of the table but they will be aiming to win their entire remaining fixtures. The toughest test will be on the 10th May when Hiddink will take his side to the illustrious Emirates stadium to face Arsenal who, themselves, hope to have a say in the title this season. With the Gunners still to play the top three the results of these games really may end up deciding the title race.
The concern for the Chelsea fans is that at the moment they are still competing in the League, the Champions League and are already in the FA Cup final and this will really test the depth of talent within their dressing room. Luckily for them they are in a better position than most, their transfer history not only full of big names is padded out by the addition of squad level talent. Meaning that Hiddink will aim to rotate his side when facing Sunderland and Fulham later in the season.
Hopes remain high at the Bridge and Hiddink would love to leave in the summer having bagged three trophies, realistically the league may be one step too far, but United and Liverpool should not ignore the quiet Dutchman yet.
The former PSV boss will have been watching the bickering between the managers of the top two sides eagerly and will be rubbing his hands with glee as they heap more pressure on each other.
With Arsenal traveling to Anfield on Tuesday night Chelsea may find themselves six points behind their rivals before they kick off on Wednesday however after the recent run of form, with an on form Drogba and a talented squad don’t discount the Londoners just yet as they drive for their third title in five years.