Another mid-week schedule of Premier League games is in the books. Plenty happened.
Jonas Gutierrez made an inspirational return to the field of play 17 months after being diagnosed with testicular cancer. Tim Sherwood went into full pantomime mode during an Aston Villa victory. All the top-four-chasing clubs won. Some relegation-threatened sides lost.
They weren’t even the biggest talking points from the fixtures. They can be found below:
Chelsea grinding out results with misshapen midfield
As Cesc Fabregas struck up a telepathic partnership with Diego Costa at the start of the season, the Spaniard’s unrelenting assist record looked to be propelling him to a league title and individual accolades.
Since Christmas, the former Barcelona youth has dwindled in his creative genius, as the sheer weight of games Jose Mourinho has used him in seems to be taking its toll.
Even though Fabregas’ powers are fading, Chelsea continue to win. In the last two games, they have done so with a centre-back playing in defensive midfield.
Their 1-0 victory over West Ham was a vintage title-winning performance; finding a way to prevail without being at their best and with important personnel out of form or missing.
Man City’s out-of-form stars won’t keep their jobs if Pellegrini does
Rumour has it that Manuel Pellegrini won’t be at Manchester City next season, unless he makes a better fist of the club’s Premier League title defence or finds a way plunge the club deep into the Champions League knockout rounds.
Should he manage either, the under-performing sector of the Citizens squad will be farmed out. The Chilean is seemingly at the end of his tether with a number of players, making five changes for Leicester’s visit.
Among them were Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta and Samir Nasri, all of whom have had far from enjoyable campaigns and are reaching peak selling value.
Relegation a real possibility for Everton
One win in 12 Premier League games is relegation form, yet Everton are still 25/1 to go down.
In reality, the possibility of the Toffees slipping into the Championship is far more stark.
They are only six points ahead of the dreaded drop zone and have Southampton, Manchester United, West Ham and Tottenham still to play in their final 10 games.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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