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Chelsea's on-field fortunes have fluctuated lately, and the contrast has been especially telling over the last two league matches.
On Saturday, Rafa Benitez's men benefited from two own goals (more on that momentarily) on the way to dismantling Stoke City 4-0 at the Britannia Stadium. It was an away performance to satisfy even the Rafa haters who have defied appeasement.
Yet, only 10 days earlier, Chelsea slumped to a 1-0 home defeat against bottom club Queens Park Rangers. One could almost be forgiven for wondering whether Chelsea—apart from the 8-0 destruction of Aston Villa—prefer playing away from the "comforts" of the home crowd at Stamford Bridge.
The upcoming week, a crucial one for Chelsea's hopes of closing the gap on the Manchester duo, could prove revealing. A home match against suddenly-hot Southampton (more on that momentarily as well) on Wednesday is followed by Arsenal's visit to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Win both and Chelsea could be breathing down Manchester City's neck.