Chelsea moved eight points clear at the top of the Premier League following Sunday’s 2-0 win over Hull City, following a weekend in which four of the chasing pack dropped points.
The Blues have won back-to-back games without conceding following that 2-0 loss at Spurs in early January and look like a side ready to clinch the Premier League title, even if it is only January.
It does seem to be a case of ‘when’ as opposed to ‘if’ when discussing Chelsea’s title chances, and it’s difficult to question their credentials given their form this season under the magnificent Antonio Conte.
The Italian’s tactics have taken the league by storm, with the 3-4-3 formation impenetrable more often than not, while his handling of the Diego Costa issue over the past week or so has proven that he is just as good a man manager as he is master tactician.
The Blues are top of the table with 55 points after 22 games – it’s only the fourth time that tally has been reached at this stage in Premier League history – but they are now preparing for arguably the biggest two weeks of their season.
After their home FA Cup tie with Brentford next weekend, Chelsea travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool in what is an enormous game for both sides on Tuesday, January 31. That comes just four days before the Blues then take on Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
If they can win their next two league games, Chelsea will have at least one hand on a fifth Premier League title.
Both matches present stiff tests, with Liverpool and Arsenal desperately hoping that can close the gap to the league leaders over the next two weeks, but Chelsea have gone about their job in an impressively professional manner this season and it’s difficult to imagine them losing back-to-back games, no matter the opponent.
Six points from their next two would leave Chelsea at least 11 points clear of Arsenal and 13 in front of Liverpool – margins that would all but rule both sides out of the title race with 14 games to go.
Manchester City and Manchester United are already 12 and 14 points behind, respectively, so wins in their next two would leave Chelsea primed for glory.
They might not be crowned champions on February 4, but the Blues could well be on the home straight by then, if they are not already.