Chelsea’s relentless march towards a second Premier League title in three years continued apace at the Olympic Stadium as the Blues ran out 2-1 winners against a spirited West Ham last week. They have opened up a 10-point lead, which is looking virtually unassailable with just 11 games left to play. The Blues are unbeaten since January 4 and are the form team of the league, so the gap only looks like growing.
The bookmakers agree that Chelsea winning the title is a formality. Before you bet review sportsbook lines like betonline, and they will show you that Chelsea are favourites to win every game they are playing between now and the end of the season. The toughest game they face is away at in-form Man Utd, but Chelsea will be full of confidence going into that one after demolishing Jose Mourinho’s side when they met at Stamford Bridge earlier in the campaign. Man City are still to visit the Bridge, but that is about it. The rest of Chelsea’s games are against teams outside the top six, and the Blues have made a habit of steamrollering them this season. Chelsea are now overwhelming 1/7 favourites to win the title, ahead of Man City on 10/1 and Tottenham, who are 20/1. Liverpool, who looked like challenging earlier in the season, are all the way out at 100/1. Arsenal are 200/1. That is the extent of Chelsea’s dominance.
They have been a revelation under Antonio Conte this season. What a remarkable job he has done. To respond to defeat at The Emirates by building a virtually impregnable three-pronged defence out of the solid but slow Gary Cahill, the much-maligned David Luiz and a full-back in Cesar Azpilicueta is nothing short of incredible. The way the Blues have defended from September onwards has set the tone for their relentless march to glory. Conte has taken players that finished mid-table last season, journeymen like Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso, and turned them into by far and away the best side in the league.
He has at his disposal some real superstars – N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois – but overall this is not the best Chelsea squad in recent memory, not by a long stretch. Just think what Conte could do after another transfer window. A top class centre back, another midfielder to play alongside Kante (Cesc Fabregas looks to be on his last legs, despite flashes of brilliance, while Nenanja Matic has not hit the heights of a couple of seasons ago) and another attacking midfielder to challenge (or replace) Pedro and Willian, just three signings and Chelsea could be ready for a period of dominance in the league, and ready for an assault on the Champions League.
A key priority will be centre forward. Diego Costa clearly seemed unsettled by that world record bid from China, and it could prove good business to cash in on him in the summer and reinvest in two top strikers like Alvaro Morata and Moussa Dembele. Costa is a battler, but Hazard is the real star going forward and Chelsea can build a superb team around him and Kante for years to come if they make the right acquisitions in the summer.