Chelsea's Diego Costa screaming with joy

Two games to decide the title?



Chelsea's Diego Costa. PICTURE: ACTION IMAGES

Tim Harrison
Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

The games come thick and fast for the Blues, with the weekend’s west London FA Cup derby against Brentford immediately followed by two matches with a massive influence on who wins the league title.

Chelsea travel to Anfield on Tuesday night to face a Liverpool team anxious to bounce back from last weekend’s surprise home defeat to Swansea, managed by Blue-to-the-core manager Paul Clement.

Seven of his 20 years in coaching have been spent at Chelsea, and an eventual return to SW6 in the distant future should not be ruled out.

Then Arsenal visit the Bridge, with manager Arsene Wenger expected to be absent from the touchline after giving an assistant referee a frustrated shove.

If Chelsea navigate their way through the upcoming pair of league fixtures successfully, it just leaves seven away games left in the season.

Home form just isn’t an issue. While the odd couple of points might be dropped, the current momentum is overwhelming.

Last weekend was, quite simply, a dream for Chelsea.

With key rivals Spurs, Liverpool and Manchester City dropping points, and Diego Costa not only restored to the attack but also cheered to the rafters, the 2-0 defeat of Hull City was just what Tony Conte had ordered.

Conte has now won the same number of points from his first 22 Premier League games that Jose Mourinho won in his; a statistic which underlines just how astonishingly snug his settling in at Stamford Bridge has been.

If he continues at this rate for a few seasons, he could even end up eclipsing the Grumpy One’s record.

Conte even skilfully engineered a standing ovation for Costa by substituting him three minutes from time against Hull, allowing the faithful to transmit their love to the unsettled striker in a 41,605-strong collective hug.

The second-string players will be given an outing against the Bees, including Nathan Ake – back from his loan spell – and Kurt Zouma in defence.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

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