Three reasons why Chelsea won’t be caught in the title race
Steven Prince examines why Chelsea won't let their seven-point lead slip at the top of the table
Impeccable home form
Stamford Bridge has, in the past decade, become one of the Premier League’s most impenetrable fortresses and the bedrock of Jose Mourinho-led Chelsea sides is home form, which at times borders as near to perfection as possible. Whilst at the helm, Mourinho has only lost one league game at Stamford Bridge – a 2-1 defeat by Sunderland at the tail end of last season. 2014/15 has been no exception. Chelsea have played 11 home league games – an impressive 10 victories and just one draw, when Manchester City came to west London. Visitors to the castle on Kings Road have left just four indelible marks on Thibaut Courtois’ or Petr Cech’s clean sheet records on their visits to the capital so far this season. Of Chelsea’s remaining fixtures, eight of the 14 are at home and aside from Arsenal and West Ham, all of Chelsea’s games against the top sides take place in SW6.
No more goal-scoring issues
Chelsea were quick to snap up Diego Costa during the summer and his adaption to the Premier League has occurred more easily than a flock of ducks taking to water. The Brazilian-born-Spanish international misses out tonight’s game against Everton but Chelsea’s ensemble cast has helped to fill the gap left by his notable absence. While the Pensioners were admonished for their profligacy in front of goal last term, only Sunderland have stopped Chelsea scoring in the league in 2014/15. Importantly for Chelsea, Cesc Fabregas returns for the visit of the Toffees. The Spaniard pulls and plucks the strings in Chelsea’s midfield so tunefully and with such dexterity that Flamenco guitarists have become green with envy. The former Arsenal captain has supplied 15 assists by February, and it appears Thierry Henry’s record will go this season to his former team-mate. These two Spaniards have been crucial to Chelsea’s transformation from last season’s third-placed team to this campaign’s front runners.
Mourinho needs a trophy
The self-confessed Special One has not won a trophy for almost three years, since winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey in his penultimate season at Real Madrid. For someone with such a sizeable ego and who carries themselves so highly off the back of his own success, Mourinho must realise he needs to win something this season. Already going to Wembley for the League Cup, the Portuguese will be hoping to add at least one further medal to his medal cabinet. His side are seven points clear with 14 to play and Mourinho’s sides are instantly recognisable for their ability to lead from the front, never buckling to exterior factors and pressure. He knows how to get his sides over the finish line and with each and every point he accumulates, that line gets ever closer. The marathon, that is the Premier League, is just about to pass St. Paul’s Catherdal, with Chelsea in firm control to be crowned kings before heading into the Mall.