By the Blouin News Sports staff

Chelsea’s challengers coming on fast

by in Soccer.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

JosĂ© Mourinho’s side has a comfortable four-point lead in the English Premier League table. That they’ve played one more match than the two clubs four points behind them in the table (Arsenal and Liverpool) and three more matches than the club six points behind them (Manchester City) should have Chelsea on their toes over what is surely going to be an essential week in the 2014 calendar.

Chelsea sit atop the table with 66 points and have eight remaining games. Their next will be one of the most important of their season, against third placed Arsenal who have 62 points (tied with Liverpool in points). Arsenal could easily pass Chelsea in the table by Tuesday of next week if they beat the league leaders, and then go on to beat Swansea City in the mid-week battle. Swansea have picked up just two wins in their last ten fixtures.

Liverpool sit in second place, ahead of Arsenal thanks to a larger goal difference on the season. They, too, could pull even with or past Chelsea with matchups against Cardiff City and Sunderland coming their way in the next six days. Chelsea, having advanced further into their schedule than most, will not play again until the following weekend.

Manchester City may have the best chance to win the league, even with their current fourth-place position. They’ve only played 27 matches on the season, three fewer than the league leaders, and only trail by four points. However, they have a tougher schedule on the horizon. After they play Fulham this weekend, whom they should handle with ease, Manuel Pellegrini’s side will take on Manchester United at Old Trafford Tuesday and Arsenal at the Emirates next weekend.

While Chelsea’s four point lead in the table looks better than it actually is, the odds are still in their favor to win the league thanks to their favorable schedule the rest of the way. Other than the Arsenal match and a Liverpool clash at the end of April, Chelsea play six clubs with losing records, four of which are in risk of being relegated. If they beat Arsenal this weekend, it might be pretty much over in the Premier League battle.

BBC

BBC