Chelsea thirteen points off fourth place after Sunday’s 3-0 victory at Selhurst Park
It has taken Chelsea a long time to get started this season, although the Blues produced a fine performance to beat Crystal Palace 3-0 on Sunday, thus demonstrating that talk of the champions being relegated is fanciful.
Guus Hiddink has predictably started to turn things round at Stamford Bridge, with the Dutchman admitted that his team needed to practise doing the dirty work as they bid to climb the Premier League table.
‘We’ve started working and if the team is not doing well through a long period then you have to look for security, and that’s why we emphasised on good, hard work, tactically and a defensive way,’ said Hiddink.
‘I don’t like to see the team drop back very far and seek false security. When they get the ball they know to play. We don’t need to add a lot of quality of players: they are blessed by nature with big quality.
‘But they have to know when things aren’t going as wished that we have to look for causes, and that’s why we started working. The very talented players, they start working also, to invest in the dirty work and not just the beautiful game they can play, because this league is very demanding.
‘And if you think you can do it just on your quality, what’s more given by talent than nature, then this league will kill you.’
Chelsea are fourteenth in the pecking order and thirteen points off fourth-placed Tottenham, although Leicester have the potential to drop out of the top four and the champions will still harbour ambitions of a winning run.
BetVictor offer 15/2 about Chelsea landing a Champions League spot, with the bookies regarding Arsenal and Manchester City as nailed-on for a top four finish, while Tottenham are now into 4/7 for a top four finish.
Manchester United are even money after their 2-1 win over Swansea, while Leicester are out to 11/8 after their goalless draw against Bournemouth, with the Foxes struggling to score goals in recent matches.