Willian’s threat from set-pieces makes him a key player in league run-in

Now that Chelsea are through to the FA Cup Final, attention again turns back to the English Premier League, where they still have plenty of work to do if they are to hold off the threat of Tottenham Hotspur and lift the title in Antonio Conte’s first season.

There isn’t much rest for the Blues before they get back to business, hosting Southampton in a tricky match-up at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday before a mammoth trip to the impressive Everton this Sunday.

Slip up again and it hands Spurs the chance to really put pressure on them, after the Stamford Bridge side had been so dominant for the majority of the season.

The semi-final win against Mauricio Pochettino’s side may just be the confidence boost they needed to help them in the home-stretch and for one man in particular, it may have been a match that means more first team action.

Willian’s double in the fixture was absolutely vital. His early free-kick was a particular delight and as this stat from Opta shows, his threat from set-pieces is significant.

That kind of danger from dead ball situations means that he must be a contender for a more regular start as Chelsea look to wrap up the league title. In tight games, magic from free-kicks may provide the difference and nine goals from direct free kicks since the start of last season is nothing to sniff at.

The Brazilian hasn’t started in the Premier League since March when a goal helped sink Stoke City 2-1.

Could he play a massive role in delivering serious silverware for the Blues?