Sky Sports asked their Soccer Saturday panel to make their mid-season picks for the Premier League title, with three out of four going for the same team.
The slip-up against Tottenham Hotspur last time out seemingly hasn’t done too much harm to confidence in Chelsea, as Phil Thompson, Matt Le Tissier and Paul Merson all went with the Blues as their pick to be crowned champions, as per Sky Sports.
Charlie Nicholas was the only man to disagree, as he went with Manchester City, and while Pep Guardiola’s side can’t written off, there are several arguments to make against them being able to overturn their deficit.
A 13-game winning streak saw Antonio Conte’s side storm to the top of the table after a disappointing loss at Arsenal sparked them into form along with a tactical change to a 3-4-3 system.
With Manchester United vs Liverpool and Everton vs City this weekend, Chelsea will hope to take full advantage of any slip-ups from their rivals as they face Leicester City and hope to get back to winning ways in the league.
Thompson argued that City still look too fragile at the back while Chelsea have the benefit of no European football which helped sway Le Tissier make his decision with Merson echoing his point.
Nicholas though believes that the January transfer window could be huge for Guardiola, and provided that he strengthens his defence, then they will remain his pick for the title.
Chelsea currently boast a five-point lead at the top of the table, and with all six contenders going along at a steady pace, putting runs together and not really dropping too many points, it has to be questioned whether or not the chasing pack can cut the gap.
With Diego Costa firing, Conte looking to strengthen this month and with a relaxed fixture list, Chelsea have to be the favourites in most people’s eyes.
Arsenal, Tottenham, United, City and Liverpool will all disagree, but it all adds to what should be a thrilling title race between now and the end of the season.