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PMB: Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion - talking points

It's the final home game before Christmas with the Blues aiming to remain top of the tree. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton look at the prospects…

 

TALKING POINTS

‘It’s not every year you win eight in a row,’ observed Eden Hazard last Saturday, and he is right. The last time Chelsea managed such a winning streak during a single campaign was during the 2006/07 run-in.

The impressive victory over Manchester City at the Etihad, allied to events at Bournemouth and Everton, extended our advantage at the top to three points, while the gap from first to sixth is now at a whopping 13 points.

Last season at the same juncture the Blues were 14th in the table on 15 points. Under Antonio Conte the Londoners are 19 points better off after 14 matches, with 13 more in like-for-like fixtures from 2015/16.

With five games until the halfway point the Blues have already faced Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham, while others in that group are yet to take points from each other.

The latter two square up straight after Chelsea’s match on Sunday and next weekend City and Arsenal play each other. New Year's Eve takes Pep Guardiola’s side to Anfield. 

After consecutive games against top five sides, the leaders now face a string of matches against teams standing seventh, 18th, 14th, 10th and ninth. There are 38 fences and if Chelsea are to succeed in this race the team must jump all of them.

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