In the aftermath of the General Election, as the haggling and deal brokering begins, the thoughts of many up and down the country will turn to another red versus blue contest—and in this one there will be only one decisive winner.
The Premier League title race reaches its conclusion this weekend.
Chelsea are in front, and are the favourites to seal their first league triumph since 2006.
However, Manchester United are still in with a chance, and the club will be hoping Wigan will do them a favor at Stamford Bridge.
A tense 90 minutes awaits.
Those in red might think that there’s little hope, but the way this season has gone, nothing is a certainty.
Chelsea appeared to be out of the running for the title after a 1-1 draw with Blackburn—a result that capped a nightmare week as they went out of the Champions League to Inter Milan. The Blues stood third in the table, four points behind United.
Since then, their response has been almost flawless. Crucial in their path to top spot was the 2-1 win over Ferguson’s men at Old Trafford.
It hasn’t been plain sailing since then—a defeat at Tottenham had Chelsea looking nervously over their shoulder. Wins over Stoke and Liverpool have calmed frayed nerves, and that win against United will likely be seen as the decisive moment.
Chelsea have the momentum and experience necessary to get what they want, they just have to go out and do it.
There are plenty of encouraging signs. Chelsea have scored 60 goals at home this season, including seven on three occasions, and there has been only one defeat—to Manchester City in February.
Wigan’s record in the capital is dire. They have failed to win their last 17, and were beaten 9-1 by Tottenham earlier on in the season.
Blues manager Carlo Ancelotti said yesterday that to lose it now would be a "tragedy" for his side. Chelsea have led the table on numerous occasions this season and in truth could have run away with it, had their away form been better.
Win and that will all be forgotten. The first leg of a domestic double would be secured.
Ancelotti would be the toast of West London. The yearning for Jose Mourinho since he left in 2007 has been acute. That will be swept away tomorrow if all goes to plan. The Stamford Bridge faithful will have a new hero to worship.
As I write these words I find myself shaking thoughts of champagne and ticker tape out of my head.
Past experience makes me cautious.
Being a Chelsea fan, you run a gamut of emotions, and we never seem to do things the easy way.
The ideal situation tomorrow would be for Chelsea to win 4-0. Drogba bags himself a hat trick and wins the golden boot. The club sets the record for the most goals in a Premier League season. John Terry gets his hands on the trophy and the party begins.
The reality will probably be nerve-shreddingly different. Whatever the outcome of this race, I won’t be changing my allegiance—I’ll stay blue.
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