5 Keys to Chelsea Winning the Premier League
The Premier League title race has taken yet another twist this weekend, and Liverpool's victory over Manchester City means that the top three teams all retain a solid chance of finishing this season on top.
However, despite there only being four matches remaining, there is still a lot of work to do, and the Blues will have to fight hard if they want to bring the Premier League trophy back to Stamford Bridge.
Here are some of the key factors that will tip the title race in Chelsea's favour.
Goals from the Strikers (or Anyone for That Matter...)
You cannot win matches without scoring goals, and you often cannot score goals when your strikers are firing blanks.
Chelsea have been relying on other sources—mainly Eden Hazard—to provide most of their goals this season. But, as we near the end, goals are getting much harder to come by and the strikers will need to step up. Especially as the remaining fixtures are against Liverpool and three relegation contenders—who have a track record of stifling Chelsea's creativity in front of goal.
Demba Ba has emerged as a surprise hero in the last couple of games, and if he continues his current run of form he could end up being Chelsea's secret weapon.
Every match from here on out is a must-win and scoring goals is the only way to succeed.
It almost seems unnecessary to mention, but if Chelsea are going to with the League they will have to beat Liverpool at Anfield.
Liverpool are unlikely to drop points elsewhere, and if Chelsea lose they will likely finish in third place behind both the Reds and Manchester City.
Earlier this season, Chelsea defeated Liverpool 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. Although they had home advantage then, they will be hopeful of replicating the performance. The Blues may have struggled against lesser opposition this year, but when it comes to top four teams Chelsea have an excellent record.
Good Use of Squad Rotation
That match at Anfield, however, is nestled snugly between two legs of a Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid.
This eight-day period will be absolutely crucial in deciding the fate of Chelsea's season, and if it is to be a successful one they will need to finish it with victories all around.
Chelsea have been fairly fortunate when it comes to injuries so far this season, and if this fortune continues then the depth of talent that Jose Mourinho has to chose from means that Chelsea certainly have the upper hand on their rivals when faced with a packed schedule.
However, simply rotating the squad is not enough, it will be about picking the right players for each match—something at which Jose Mourinho is a master.
The Right Attitude
And they had better hope that Mourinho rotates players effectively, for there will be no resting from here on out.
Chelsea must treat each upcoming match as though it is a cup final.
It might be tempting to sit back and phone in a performance against Sunderland next week to save energy for the match against Atletico Madrid, but that is exactly the kind of mindset that will cause them to drop points and drop out of the title race.
Mourinho is a master tactician, but he is also famous for his grasp of sports psychology. The players will need him if they are going to focus and maintain a match-to-match mentality.
...and a Little Bit of Luck
Of course, the Premier League title is not completely in the hands of the Chelsea players.
Even if they were to win the remainder of their games, they will still need to rely on Manchester City to drop points.
This is entirely possible, however, as Man City still have to travel to Goodison Park to face a strong Everton side.
Chelsea may not be the favourites to win the League this year, but if they do their part and win all of their remaining games they will have an excellent chance of lifting the trophy next month.