While the possibility of Guus Hiddink’s side winning trophies this season is still a reality, a Premier League title, or even a top four finish is way out of reach. The West London side now has an opportunity to play spoiler to some of their rivals, and those in relegation territory during the final stretch of the season.
We’ve seen Chelsea find their form under their Dutch interim in recent weeks. They’ve even started to develop their reputation as a spoiler in 2016 thus far. Three weeks ago, they created a speed bump on the road to another title for Arsenal with a 1-0 victory at the Emirates.
Arsenal have slipped in the title race recently and the Blues capitalised on the opportunity widen the gap between their London rivals and the top spot. The Gunners currently sit in second, tied with Tottenham at five points behind leaders Leicester City.
Last week we saw Manchester United, a club in the hunt for a top four finish, take a second half lead against Chelsea only for Diego Costa to equalise late on. The stellar performance from David de Gea was not enough to keep the persistent Chelsea attack out. Three points would’ve been key for United as they would’ve only been four points adrift of City for a Champions League spot.
Looking at some of Chelsea’s fixtures in the final months of the season, they have matches against Southampton, Liverpool, West Ham, Manchester City, Tottenham and a season finale hosting Cinderella story Leicester City. All of these matches are against teams that are either in search of the title, a Champions League spot or a chance to play in the Europa League.
Chelsea have has the opportunity to play villain in the bottom three. They will face all three teams in the relegation zone, as well as Newcastle, who sit just one point clear of that mark during the remainder of the campaign.
With Chelsea coming into their natural form as of late, these matches could fare poorly for those they’re up against. Great performances from Oscar and Diego Costa and the back four in recent matches have carried the team to good results, and if players like Eden Hazard can step up the Blues could really shake up the outcome of the league.
The match against Leicester City on the final day could be the most important fixture of the season. With the title race still tight, the league could be won or lost for the Foxes at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea should focus much of their attention on the Champions League and the FA Cup, but it’s obvious that they will not go quietly in the final weeks of the Premier League.
The trophy belongs to Chelsea and now they can decide who to give it to.