Chelsea are finally out of their hardest run of fixtures of the season, and they’ve come directly into the Christmas period, where even easy games can become challenging simply due to the volume of matches.
The last 10 years or so have seen us come unstuck time and time again in this period, so we’re not too hopeful. That’s especially the case given we have an endless rolling injury crisis and a squad which looks some way off competing at the very top of the league.
We’re in 10th place now, where will we be on 1st of February? It’s very hard to say.
In our last game we faced a very different challenge – an EFL Cup quarter final. We didn’t gain any league points in that win, but we built some momentum and some confidence with a home win on penalties over a Newcastle team who schooled us in our game against them at St James’ Park not long ago. It was a big victory for team spirit and now things are generally looking a little brighter. Now, we’ve got a relatively kind Christmas run to try and force our way back up the table.
If you’re using places like this site to bet on Chelsea making a miraculous winter recovery, we reckon this is the time to do it, and here’s why.
An away game against up and coming Wolves on the 24th is not easy by any means, and we’re not taking that game against a really well drilled and well motivated Gary O’Neill team for granted. But with the talent we’ve got, surely we’re aiming for 3 points there.
The same is true of our next games – Crystal Palace at home on the 27th, which is a must win if we want to crawl higher into the top half, as is the match against Luton after that on the 30th. There are no easy games, but those are without doubt 3 winnable games, as is the game against Fulham on the 13th of January.
By the time we face Liverpool on the final day of January, it’s certainly possible (although extremely hopeful) that we’ve won 4 of 4 and have really made progress up the league. Perhaps it’s just wishful thinking, but with Christopher Nkunku returning this week, we’re allowing ourselves a little Christmas cheer, and dreams of battling our way into a Europa Conference League spot by Easter time.
There’s even the prospect of January signings, although we’re still struggling to use last January’s signings, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves here… game by game and point by point is what we want.