Chelsea's Biggest Remaining Fixtures This Season

Greg Probert@@GregProbertFWContributor IIFebruary 6, 2013

Chelsea's Biggest Remaining Fixtures This Season

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    This season has been quite typical of Chelsea in recent years...dramatic.

    In classic Chelsea style, a manager has already been sacked, and a midseason dip in form has fans panicking about a possible "crisis" at the club.

    Chelsea's recent form has been pretty woeful, losing two-goal leads on more than one occasion, and the superstars at the club are struggling to beat seemingly far inferior opponents.

    Chelsea's season isn't all over, however, with the club still competing for a top-four finish in the Premier League, plus a chance to win two more cup competitions.

    So with the Blues desperate to get their season back on track, what are the most pivotal games left in the season for Chelsea?

FA Cup Replay vs. Brentford (Home): February 17

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    That's right, Chelsea drew with League One club Brentford, and they were pretty fortunate not to crash out the competition altogether.

    Take no credit away from Brentford, they performed well, but this really is an embarrassing result for a club that won the Champions League less than nine months ago.

    So now Chelsea's hopes of retaining the FA Cup hinge on defeating Brentford at Stamford Bridge.

    Easy, right?

    Well usually it is, but at the moment Chelsea away looks like the most winnable of a match that its been for a long time.

    Chelsea cannot just look past Brentford in to the next round and think they will cruise it, because as we have seen in a lot of giant-killings in the cup this year, it's not always that simple.

    This is a must-win tie for Chelsea—not just to stay in the competition—but if they were to lose this game then the confidence knock the players will take for the rest of the season could be catastrophic.

Manchester City (Away): February 24

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    The reigning Premier League champions have been about as impressive as Chelsea this year.

    Inconsistency and losing leads has crept into their game, and now the gap between them and Manchester United has grown to an almost unassailable size.

    But they are still the champions and one of the toughest teams to play in the league.

    Chelsea have been dropping points to lesser sides all year, and if they are going to get their season back on track and close the gap on the Manchester clubs then beating City is essential.

    In the reverse fixture in November, the game ended up in a dull 0-0 draw, which was about as exciting as it sounds.

    Chelsea will need to sort out their defense against the Sky Blues, because if they don't, they will get punished.

    And Chelsea's attacking superstars will be looking to prove that they are the real deal and can perform against the big boys.

Tottenham (Home): April 13

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    Tottenham are looking like a far better side than the one that Chelsea beat pretty comfortably 4-2 at White Hart Lane in October.

    Andre Villas-Boas seems to have got his players working together, and his new additions have settled in to the side well.

    With Arsenal and Liverpool both falling behind slightly, Spurs are Chelsea's main competition for a Champions League place.

    By April Chelsea will hope to be building momentum and stringing some wins together, and Spurs will be hoping to do the same.

    So a win against Tottenham could be pivotal in the race for third place, and a loss could not only let Spurs close the gap on them but also cause Chelsea to get shaken and lose their heads.

Manchester United (Away): May 4

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    Manchester United have visited Stamford Bridge twice already this season, and both times the two teams have produced unmissable drama.

    Last-minute penalties, plenty of goals and a few incidents involving a certain referee have shown that Chelsea vs Manchester United is still one of the biggest games in the English football calendar.

    Even though United haven't been playing all that well this season, the teams chasing have slipped enough to basically hand them a huge lead on a silver plate.

    By the time Chelsea visit Old Trafford in May, the title race could already be settled or the chasing pack may have closed the gap .

    The result of this game may be academic or it may be vital to Chelsea's season, but whatever the situation, Chelsea will be desperate to turn over United at home.