Southampton v Chelsea - Premier League

When storied Manchester United legend and former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, was asked days ago his thoughts on the prospective title winners for the season, he replied,

“I think there are 5 potential candidates: Manchester City as favourites, Tottenham and Liverpool, but also Manchester United are still there if we get some consistency soon.”

He saved the best for the last? Considering he mentioned only 4 at first. The Scot had space for just 1 more club on his predicted list.

“…and you shouldn’t forget Arsenal.”

That’s it. Perennial top 4 finishers made his list, and while those 5 have got, perhaps, equal chances as far as the title race goes for this season, 1 other club is missing from Ferguson’s wish list. Chelsea.

For reasons best known to Sir Alex, Chelsea don’t look like potential title winners. While the 74-year-old, like every other human is entitled to his own opinions, forgetting about a certain west London side that have picked up great momentum after high-profile losses at the hands of Liverpool and Arsenal is almost unbelievable.

Days after his famous prediction, Chelsea cruised to their 4th consecutive Premier League win, putting 2 unreplied goals past 1 of the most defensive sides of the seasons on the road. The win against Southampton is Chelsea’s 7th of the season, and the Blues trail the top 3 joint leaders with only 1 point after 10 games.

Having conceded 9 goals in 5 out of their first 6 EPL games, Conte’s men have closed the shop at the back, going 4 straight games without shipping in a goal. In these games, the Stamford Bridge outfit has scored 11 goals, and their new-found success formula looks to be working to a tee.

The 0 – 3 Arsenal loss forced Antonio Conte revert to his famed 3-man defence line, and that has proven to be key to victory – right at the back and across the pitch. Employing 2 wing-backs, 2 midfielders and 3 forwards, the 3-4-3 formation is producing amazing results. And all eyes are now on the Blues.

Many still believe they won’t go straight back to the peak of English football given how bad their campaign went down last season, but that doesn’t look like what is happening.

They just don’t look like a top 4 side at the moment, this squad can as well win the league. How they win their battles in the next 4 league games will to an extent, help give a hint as to how capable they are of challenging for the top prize. Everton await next matchday, while Middlesbrough, Tottenham and Manchester City are next after the international break.

10 points picked out of a possible 12 from these fixtures will send a strong message to other title challengers and mostly, to those doubting their abilities. 4 straight wins aren’t convincing enough to prove consistency, and there haven’t been any injury concerns to reveal if the squad has another depth within it to help maintain the team’s fine form.

However, if there is any list anywhere highlighting top 4 teams that should be considered title winners at the moment, Chelsea must be on that list. Even if they are to be regarded the least likely.

Everything is working just fine and pointing to that direction. A top 4 finish is no longer Chelsea’s target, though it’s the least expected of them, winning the title is feasible and possible. John Terry lifting another Premier League trophy by May shouldn’t be ruled out. Count them out of the race at your expense!!!

Paul Koroma

I learned all about life with a ball at my feet. Soccer allows me to push the limitation of creativity and express myself without saying a word. Soccer is my addiction. I train. I play, and I repeat every single day.

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