Chelsea are looking every inch like prospective title winners following their impressive start to the 2016-17 Premier League season, and not many would deny they actually can go all the way and lift the cherished top prize come May.
Following 17 rounds of games, the west Londoners have only lost twice and drawn once, with all other 14 games mostly resulting in emphatic victories. Thus far, Chelsea have scored 35 goals, with only 3 clubs scoring more, while no other side has conceded fewers goals (11) than them.
Their current record goes a long way in highlighting how brilliant Chelsea are at both ends of the pitch, with the club boasting of both the league’s highest goal scorer (Costa – 13 goals) and highest clean sheets keeping goalie (Courtois – 10).
Having scooped 43 points from all available 51, the Blues could as well make history by joining the other 4 teams who have all gone ahead to win the league having obtained 43 or more points from their first 17 league fixtures.
4 – All 4 teams to have previously won 43+ points from their opening 17 games of a @premierleague season have gone on to win the title. Blue pic.twitter.com/jsdnsFB9NL
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 19, 2016
So many factors play to Chelsea’s advantage, as the F.A Cup remains the only other competition they would be involved in. Liverpool still have the EFL to prepare for, while Arsenal, Tottenham and the Mancunian clubs all have European engagements starting from February.
That there is no African player within their first team ranks also helps, as most other title contenders have players who won’t be available when the African Cup of nations starts in mid-January.
With Chelsea’s first team players having to concentrate mainly on the title race in absence of other competitions, less fatigue and being less prone to knocks are physical and fitness advantages Conte stands to benefit very much from as the campaign toughens.
The optimism within the Chelsea camp is very high, and that they have won their last 11 games on the spin – 3 short of equalling Arsenal’s record means they have established a self-belief of going all the way and putting any team to the sword.
They have met with all other top 8 teams below them on the log, and only managed to lose against 2. City, United, Tottenham, Everton, Southampton and West Brom all lost convincingly to a superior Blues side, and with only just 2 fixtures left before the 2nd half of the season begins, securing all 6 points from those games will further inspire them to step on the gas.
Chelsea’s closest rivals on the log, Liverpool, are 6 points behind, and catching up with this team that now looks almost impossible to beat or even share the spoils with is going to be very herculean. Scoring against them is becoming harder every other game, while the toughest of defences have been breached by their forward line.
Arsenal remain the only side to have contained Chelsea’s attack successfully, while the Gunners also made light of their backline the most by scoring 3. That loss was exactly what prompted the emergence of the new Chelsea we are seeing now, and they continue to look more indomitable and invincible like never before.
Not even Sir Ferguson and the most pessimistic of Chelsea detractors will stake against them as far as winning the title goes. Every sign, every records broken and set continue to point to that possibility, and the title is beginning to become theirs to lose every other matchday.