The season has reached it’s half-way point and despite hanging tough two points off the top Chelsea are as long as 4/1 third-favourites for the Premier League title, a sexy price given they’ve yet to really click as a unit.
However, unlike those adversaries Chelsea have reached the mid-point of the campaign in touch despite struggling to find their identity under Mourinho.
Stalwarts Juan Mata and Ashley Cole have been canned, their centre-forwards have laboured and their defence, so resolute in the Portguese’s first Stamford Bridge tenure has been generous.
While the Gunners and their Sky Blue pursuers have strung together five and four-game winning streaks respectively, Chelsea are still to take maximum points for more than three games on the bounce.
Shock results such as the away losses to Newcastle and Stoke keep arriving out of the mist like unwelcome door-to-door salesmen.
Despite their travails the Blues are just two points off top-spot, having beaten City and Liverpool at home and take points off Arsenal and Manchester United on the road.
For all they may have been beaten by Basel at the Bridge in the Champions League, their home impregnability under Mourinho remains undeniably intact too.
West Brom’s draw at Stamford Bridge was the sole fixture in which Chelsea have dropped Premier League points in West London in 2013/14.
Furthermore, their performances against sides that could be regarded as rivals for the title/Champions League places suggest that beating the lesser sides is the thing to target to improve their points yield further.
Needless to say this is far easier than problem facing Arsenal i.e. working out how to beat their best opponents.
Chelsea have yet to be bested in four encounters against last term’s top five, with three away draws showing they’re reacquiring the taste for their manager’s defensive intransigence.
Meanwhile Arsenal, Man Utd, Everton and Tottenham all have the prospect of a Stamford Bridge stifling still to come, so Chelsea should have plenty more opportunities to dent their rivals’ hopes over the remaining 19 games.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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