Return Of Fabregas Shows Us Why Chelsea Are Title Favourites


Chelsea lead the Premier League table by six clear points as we head into this frantic festive period.

The ‘Blues’ have now won their last ten games on the trot and are seen as 4/5 favourites to win the title back to Stamford Bridge.

Superstars Eden Hazard and Diego Costa have been bang in form and are terrifying defences up and down the land.

While Pedro has finally settled into the rigours of English football and thriving with his opportunities in the first team.

New boss Antonio Conte has found the ideal formation by going with three in the back. Defenders Cesar Azpilicueta and David Luiz have been stand-outs in defence.

It also works having £32m signing N’Golo Kante, who seems to do very little wrong in the Premier League.

But as the season goes on the squad becomes more important as injuries and suspensions take their toll.

This has been highlighted by Cesc Fabregas returning to the starting eleven and showing that he still has the class to turn fixtures on their head.

Speculation was rife that the Spaniard would be allowed to leave the ‘Blues’ during the next January transfer window. It didn’t help that he failed to make an impact as Chelsea were humbled by his old side Arsenal at the Emirates back in late September.

But he was brought back into the team when injury meant Nemanja Matic was missing for the vital clash against Man City earlier this month.

After the disappointing performance against the ‘Gunners’, Cesc was under severe pressure to do well at the Etihad. The team hadn’t lost in seven games and this was a major test.

Thankfully for Conte and the Chelsea faithful, Fabregas didn’t disappoint and as he impressed in their 3-1 win over their title rivals.

His ball retention was fantastic as he completed the game with a 90% passing success rate. Among those passes was a sublime ball over the top for Costa to control and finish with aplomb. If any Chelsea fan had questioned Cesc’s commitment to the cause then that should have been answered as he stood beside his teammates to gain an extremely important victory.

This week Cesc turned in a man of the match winning performance as he helped Chelsea to their 1-0 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Fabregas expertly steered the ball beyond ‘Black Cats’ keeper Jordan Pickford from the edge of the area. The goal has kept the long winning run going and showed that Chelsea have great depth in their squad.

It must be great for Conte to know that if one of his central midfielders is missing or has a dip in form, then he can bring in an experienced Premier League winning player who can keep the ball, unlock defences and even score important goals for the club.

Willian also came into the starting line-up this mid-week as Eden Hazard missed out due to a knock. The Brazilian came in without any fuss or team disruption and it was Willian who set-up Fabregas for his goal.

You then look at the fact that both John Terry and Kurt Zouma both close to returning to full fitness, adding numbers to the defensive ranks.

Some might say that Chelsea are a bit short of options up-front.

Diego Costa has been in fine form with twelve league strikes in sixteen games. His discipline on the park has improved greatly this term but he is continually walking a suspension tightrope as he is just one booking away from missing a game.

But Conte has Belgian hitman Michy Batshuayi to call upon if needed. Michy has been unlucky in the fact that he can’t get a game because Costa has led the line so well during this campaign. But Batshuayi scored seventeen Ligue 1 goals last season for Olympique Marseille. Plus he’s still managed a goal and an assist during his nine substitute appearances (seventy-seven minutes) in the league for the Stamford Bridge giants. He also bagged two in three League Cup fixtures.

Plus Chelsea also have young forward Dominic Solanke from the youth ranks. They can also play Pedro, Hazard and even Fabregas up-top if they really need to.

Given the added squad depth, the fact that Chelsea don’t have to worry about European football and that they are currently in an impressive winning run and you can see just why they have been installed as title favourites.

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