Chelsea just a point above Premier League drop zone after a ninth defeat of the season
Chelsea have lost more games this season than they did for the entirety of the past two campaigns. Monday’s 2-1 reverse at Leicester City saw the champions deliver a typically insipid performance and many are starting to wonder whether a relegation scrap could be on the cards.
BetVictor offer 33/1 that the Blues go down to the Championship this season, a prospect which would have been unthinkable in August as Jose Mourinho’s team got ready to defend their title crown.
Other bookmakers take a dimmer view of Chelsea’s relegation prospects, with Coral going 100/1 that the London side finish eighteenth or lower and Mourinho doesn’t think that a relegation scrap is on the cards.
Nevertheless, all doesn’t appear well at Stamford Bridge, with the manager making some pointed comments following that 2-1 reverse at the King Power Stadium.
Mourinho felt that Eden Hazard self-diagnosed an injury which meant the Belgian was substituted in the first half after an innocuous foul by Jamie Vardy.
Diego Costa was also in the firing line, with the Chelsea manager feeling as though the striker’s confidence was shot, while the player himself was seen publicly criticising his team-mates for falling asleep as Vardy stole in to score the opening goal of the game.
Chelsea are now 14/1 to land a top-four finish this season, with Mourinho admitting it was a forlorn hope after this latest setback to a season where Champions League results have been better than those in the Premier League.
Will Chelsea even get a top six spot this term? Sky Bet have 11/4 about that happening and the London side look set for a mid-table finish at best.
Who would have thought that the managers of Chelsea and Manchester United would go into the Christmas period as favourites on the Sack Race market?
BetVictor go 10/11 that Mourinho gets his marching orders first as he readies his team for Saturday’s visit of Sunderland, while Louis van Gaal is a 9/4 shot (Sky Bet) and it appears that one of the pair could be next to walk away from their respective jobs.
“I don’t think in this moment they can feel they are top players or they can feel they are superstars” said Mourinho. “They have to look at the Leicester boys and to feel these are the stars, these are the top players. They have to look to Sunderland and Watford and say: ‘We are at the same level. I am not the superstar, I am not the player of the season, I am not the world champion, I am not the Premier League champion. At this moment, I am at your level.’
“I feel my work is betrayed,” he said. “I worked four days in training for this match. I identified four movements where Leicester score a lot of their goals and in two of the four situations I identified they scored their goals. I went through it all with the players, you can ask them.”