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The easiest way to move up the ladder is to beat the teams ahead of you.
Theoretically, a win over a team above you is worth six points in terms of positioning, as you take three and cost your opponent three.
If Chelsea want to close the relatively large gap between them and City, they will need to continue to get positive results against the lower seeds while ensuring victories over those above them—and this is not too far-fetched of an idea.
Currently, Chelsea sit in fourth place behind Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham, in that order.
Chelsea have already played Tottenham in a one-all tie at White Hart Lane. It was a poor performance by the blues, but they were able to escape a hostile stadium with equal points.
This was also at a point when they would find themselves in their worst run of form of the season, tying Wigan five days earlier and tying the following match against Fulham, ending December with a horrible loss to Aston Villa.
Conversely Tottenham was on a bit of a streak that had moved them all the way to the top four of the table.
Roles are now reversed, as Chelsea is playing much better and will be hosting the return leg. With Drogba and Kalou back by the time they meet in March, Chelsea could should be strong favorites to win if for no more than the fact they will be at home.
Chelsea lost to Manchester United 3-1 in the fifth game of the season away at Old Trafford. In what was a breakout game for Torres, things could have gone much differently if the striker was on point, with some misses (including perhaps the worst of the season, missing a wide-open net).
It was a back-and-forth affair that United deservedly won, giving the blues their first loss of the season.
United travel down to Stamford Bridge in less than three weeks for what can only be called a must-win game should the blues want to keep their title hopes alive. History favors Chelsea, as United have not won in league play in London in eight straight years and have only drawn three.
As usual, this will probably mount to being the match of the year as the two contemporary heavyweights of the English game battle it out for the chance to go on and win the league.
Oddly enough, City is the only team Chelsea has beaten that is currently above them. This is the most promising part of their rematch, as Chelsea will be the visiting side.
What is encouraging is that Etihad stadium is not the cauldron that Old Trafford or even White Hart Lane could be. The fanbase is passionate, but it is more out of trend than anything.
Nerves should not be too present, as City are the ones who actually will have something to prove to Chelsea.
Of course, the matches are in the future, and things will change between then and now. But the way things stand, the teams that currently have an advantage in the table do not necessarily have an advantage on the field.