How we think the Blues will get on in their tricky Christmas run…
Chelsea won an impressive victory away in Stoke on Monday night to ensure they stay top for Christmas, but with Man City closing in over the last few weeks, there will be no slacking off over Christmas for the Blues.
Man City have West Brom, Burnley and Sunderland to face in the same period, and look likely to pick up nine points, so a single missed opportunity from the Blues could cost them dearly.
Here’s how we think Mourinho’s men will fare over the next nine hectic days.
Chelsea v West Ham
A boxing day early kick-off starts proceedings, with an in-form and dangerous West Ham side coming to town. Jose Mourinho will be all too aware of the threat from a West Ham side that have repeatedly shown this season that it’s not luck or co-incidence that sees them sitting pretty in fourth place.
The Mikel-Matic partnership the Chelsea boss has used in recent games, notably against Stoke last night, may well be used again against a tough and physical Hammers side. Andy Carroll is in form, but will face a tough test against Chelsea’s tall team.
It will be a hard fought game, but the Blues should show enough toughness to battle to three points.
Prediction: Chelsea 1 – 0 West Ham
Southampton v Chelsea
Just two days after what looks set to be a tough game against West Ham, the Blues head to the South Coast to face Southampton. After a shocking run, the Saints bounced back with a resounding and unexpected 3 – 0 win at Everton.
Saints have a great chance to get back on track against Crystal Palace on Boxing Day, and could well be facing Chelsea with two wins in a row under their belt.
The Blues have started to look tired in recent games, and may well struggle more than they would have done if this game had taken place a few months ago. It’s hard to look beyond Mourinho’s side, although it will likely be a tougher test than the Portuguese boss would like.
Prediction: Southampton 1 – 2 Chelsea