Chelsea might look like a team that have stabilized things after the departure of Jose Mourinho. But the Blues have only managed 15 points from 9 matches since then, despite remaining unbeaten.
The tight competition this term in the English Premier League together with the tough run of fixtures yet to come reveals the magnitude of tough work at hand for Chelsea to obtain a decent spot at the end of the season.
Let’s start off by saying that the Champions League qualification is still mathematically possible for the Blues, but it is just as lame as Van Gaal claiming Man United are title contenders.
We look into the key factors that will decide Chelsea’s finishing position in the league table at the end of the season.
The Damage is already done
The poor under Jose Mourinho has done the damage even before he left the hot seat at Stamford Bridge. Anyone who was coming in had a tough task at hand, the first one being save the team from getting relegated.
Under the Portuguese coach, the team has managed only 15 points from 16 matches which is under a point per match. After his departure the team earned 15 points from 9 matches, which is certainly an improvement at 1.5 points per match.
Average 1.5 points at the end of the season
Now Chelsea are some distance off the danger zone and the performance has certainly improved. They have currently 30 points from 25 matches at 1.2 per match and 13 more to go you can only expect them to finish the season with an average of 1.5 points per match. This means Chelsea could end the season at 57 points.
Poor Home Form and Tough Matches to come
So far under Hiddink, the Blues have drawn all of their four home matches including against the likes of Watford, West Brom and Everton. The Dutchman is still looking for his first win in front of their home fans.
Chelsea have relatively an easy run of away fixtures, but they have some huge fixtures at home at the tail end of the season. They are up against Newcastle United followed by Stoke City, both of the matches could be looked upon as easy wins for Chelsea.
Then they have West Ham, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City. It is pretty hard to see Chelsea earning sufficient points from these last four matches.
Moreover, the Blues are still in the Champions League and FA cup, this may also make it tough to maintain a high level of performance till the end of the season.
Chelsea could end the dream of Top Four Finish
Even if Chelsea win all their remaining matches from now, they can only finish the season with 69 points. And this is certainly below the points the fourth place team is going to get at the end of the season.
It looks like Leicester, Tottenham, Man City, Arsenal and Man United can’t be caught at the moment. But the same could be said in the case of West Ham and Liverpool.
Chelsea could climb up as high as 9th in the league at the end of the season unless any from the above goes through an unlikely terrible run of results.
And the best finish they can obtain if maintain a winning streak till the end of the season is fifth, while this depends on the results of other teams as well.
At the same time, also keep an eye on Southampton, they have improved since January and are looking like a team set for a late surge for points in the last half of the season.