Perhaps it was the recent announcement of Antonio Conte’s Chelsea arrival, perhaps it was a Blues realisation that there’s little left to play for, or maybe they just came across one of the in-form scorers of 2016.
Chelsea slipped to a 10th league defeat away to Swansea on Saturday, losing for the first time in the Premier League since Guus Hiddink arrived for a second spell as interim boss.
The recent news that the Dutchman will be replaced by current Italy manager Antonio Conte had rubber stamped the fact that Chelsea are now officially looking to next season, but the loss was likely more to do with Gylfi Sigurdsson’s form.
The Icelandic attacker notched his ninth top-flight strike in the calendar year to down the west Londoners, making him the third-top scorer in 2016, behind Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero.
Those goals have played a huge part in the Welsh outfit easing themselves away from the drop zone. The win over Chelsea took them to the 40-point mark, a widely recognised haven for Premier League safety, and saw their price for the drop with Ladbrokes stretch to 500/1.
Six of the nine strikes have come in point-collecting outings for the Swans and the former Tottenham man has now scored four times in the last five games.
Recent wins over Arsenal, Norwich, Aston Villa and now Chelsea, mean the Liberty Stadium are certain to be playing Premier League football again next term.
If they are to avoid another battle in the bottom half though, they’ll need to find more contributors than just Sigurdsson, who has contributed 33% of the side’s league goals.
Only two other players in the squad – Andre Ayew and Bafetimbi Gomis – have managed to net more than twice this term. Of their 10 league scorers, one has now left the club and another two are defenders.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.