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Can Chelsea salvage their season?
07 March 2018, 12:50
Can Chelsea salvage their season?
CosminIftode / Shutterstock.com

Things have gone from bad to worse at Stamford Bridge has Antonio Conte looks to find a way to stop the bleeding. Chelsea are in peril after losing four of their last five Premier League matches.

The team has dropped from third in the league to fifth, and now sit five points off of the final Champions League place. Losses to Bournemouth, Watford, Manchester United and Manchester City have put the team's league season in jeopardy. With a crunch Champions League second leg last-16 tie against Barcelona on the horizon, the question is: Can Chelsea salvage their season?

Chelsea build-up for their Champions League match with Barcelona with a trip to Crystal Palace at the weekend. It is a game the Blues should win despite their terrible league form. On paper, it is the perfect warm-up match for the team's vital Champions League fixture in Spain. A win could get the Blues back within touching distance of red-hot Tottenham.

Chelsea have benefitted from a similar loss in form at Arsenal. The Gunners' three-match losing streak has allowed Chelsea to stay ahead of them in the Premier League table. However, Conte has to find a way to start winning again to challenge for a Champions League place.

This time last year, Chelsea were runaway leaders. From matchday 11, Chelsea never left first place in the Premier League. It was a testament to the great team Conte had in 2016-17 and his coaching approach. This season has seen a team lacking hunger. It didn't help that Conte sold two important players in Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic that were replaced by lesser personnel. Although he has scored 12 goals in all competitions, Alvaro Morata has been a big disappointment at Stamford Bridge. The Spaniard has scored just once in the Champions League. Morata had never been the top striker at his previous clubs. His goal return for Chelsea is evidence that he benefitted from top players at Juventus and Real Madrid. Morata is in the midst of an incredible dry spell currently, as he hasn't scored a goal since December 26th.

Rumours continue to swirl that Conte will be sacked at the end of the season. If the Blues are eliminated from the Champions League, there is no guarantee he will get until the end of May. Chelsea are still playing in the FA Cup and will play Leicester in the quarterfinals. Conte needs to keep winning in the competition, but it seems his fate at Stamford Bridge is already sealed.

The differences between the 2016-17 title winner and the 2017-18 Chelsea team is striking. Costa scored 20 goals a year ago, Morata has managed just 10 in the Premier League. Eden Hazard has scored five fewer goals than all of last term in the league. The team is on pace to allow a similar amount of goals in the Premier League (33). But this season's Chelsea aren't the ruthless team they were 12 months ago. Regardless of how the season ends, and it looks likely Chelsea will finish fifth in the league and lose out to Barcelona in Europe, the Blues will sever ties with Conte. It shouldn't be a surprise as Chelsea struggle to salvage this term.

Predictions for Premier League

Home team - Away team Forebet
flag_1 PR
Swansea City
Southampton

08/05/2018 19:45
X
flag_1 PR
Chelsea FC
Huddersfield

09/05/2018 19:45
1
flag_1 PR
Leicester City
Arsenal

09/05/2018 19:45
X
flag_1 PR
Manchester City
Brighton

09/05/2018 20:00
1

England Premier League - predictions, tips, statistics

Featured match

Home team - Away team Forebet
flag_12 No1
Odd BK
SK Brann

25/06/2018 18:00
2

OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Manchester City 100 38 32 4 2 106 27 79
2. Manchester United 81 38 25 6 7 68 28 40
3. Tottenham 77 38 23 8 7 74 36 38
4. Liverpool FC 75 38 21 12 5 84 38 46
5. Chelsea FC 70 38 21 7 10 62 38 24
6. Arsenal 63 38 19 6 13 74 51 23
7. Burnley FC 54 38 14 12 12 36 39 -3
8. Everton FC 49 38 13 10 15 44 58 -14
9. Leicester City 47 38 12 11 15 56 60 -4
10. Newcastle Utd 44 38 12 8 18 39 47 -8
11. Crystal Palace 44 38 11 11 16 45 55 -10
12. Bournemouth 44 38 11 11 16 45 61 -16
13. West Ham 42 38 10 12 16 48 68 -20
14. Watford FC 41 38 11 8 19 44 64 -20
15. Brighton 40 38 9 13 16 34 54 -20
16. Huddersfield 37 38 9 10 19 28 58 -30
17. Southampton 36 38 7 15 16 37 56 -19
18. Swansea City 33 38 8 9 21 28 56 -28
19. Stoke City 33 38 7 12 19 35 68 -33
20. West Bromwich 31 38 6 13 19 31 56 -25

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