Prior to last weekend, Chelsea seemed certain to lift the EPL title during Antonio Conte’s first season in charge at the Bridge.
A surprise 2-1 defeat at home to relegation-threatened Crystal Palace seemed to cast doubt on the Blues’ procession, however, especially as second place Tottenham won at Burnley to close the gap to seven points.
The Blues took another monumental stride towards the title on Wednesday, however, beating fourth place Manchester City in a keenly-contested game at Stamford Bridge.
While Spurs kept their feint hopes alive with a last-gasp win at Swansea, Chelsea realistically only need to win six of their last eight games to claim their second EPL crown in three years.
The Fixtures Ahead: Will Chelsea Slip-up Again?
The bookies certainly think that Chelsea are guaranteed to win the title, with the Blues priced at 1/20 to achieve this objective.
The question that remains is whether Chelsea are likely to slip-up again prior to the end of the season, particularly as they need to drop at least eight points if there is any chance of their rivals catching them.
In truth, Chelsea’s run-in features one or two potential banana skins. They travel to Old Trafford to face former manager Jose Mourinho and his Manchester United team on 16th April, for example, before hosting second place Spurs in a do-or-die clash at Stamford Bridge the following weak.
The latter fixture is likely to have a huge bearing on the outcome of the title race, as surely a Chelsea win or a draw will help to secure the title.
A trip to Everton on 30th April may also complicate matters, but the Blues’ remaining five matches (against Bournemouth, Southampton, Middlesbrough, West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland respectively) are all eminently winnable and victories in these games would leave Chelsea needing just three more points (or a draw against Spurs) to guarantee a title triumph.
It should also be remembered that despite the defeat by Palace, Chelsea have won seven of their last 10 matches and remain by far and away the most consistent side in the division.
The Last Word: Why You Just Never Know in the EPL
It’s hard to imagine any side other than Chelsea wining the league this season. That said, if you fancy a put on the remaining fixtures you may wish to look at the free bet offerings on sites like Bonus Codes.
We would certainly not recommend wagering to back against the Blues, even though Spurs may represent a tempting outside bet for some at odds of 9/1.
As always however, the unpredictable and decidedly competitive nature of the Premier League makes it impossibly to say with certainty that the title race is over.
Defeats against United, Everton and particularly Spurs could cause the Blues’ season to suddenly unravel, for example, while sides such as Bournemouth and Albion are also capable of frustrating any opposition (the Cherries actually won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge last season).
Ultimately it is hard to imagine Chelsea letting the lead that they have worked so hard for dwindle as the season comes to an end.