Chelsea are looking to close in on the Premier League title with a win over local rivals QPR on Sunday. The Blues face Rangers right before third and fourth go head to head in the Manchester derby. With just five wins needed to claim the title, those two games could send the trophy that little bit closer to Stamford Bridge, should the results go the right way.
The title race took a big turn last week, as Manchester City slipped further behind with a defeat at Crystal Palace. The champions’ 2-1 defeat left them fourth, a point behind United and two off Arsenal. The Gunners are now Chelsea’s closest rivals, although they sit seven points behind having played a game more, with only six matches left of the season. It looks to be too big a gap to make up, but nothing is certain right now.
For all his confidence and swagger, Jose Mourinho isn’t about to celebrate the title before it is won. He made a point of stating the number of points needed in his post match interview, and you can imagine he was doing the same in the dressing room. With no other distractions, getting these results is all the Blues need to focus on, even performances take a back seat at this stage. The win over Stoke was far from an impressive display, but they got over the line in the end.
Next up is QPR, who are stuck in the bottom three and look set for relegation. They did get a big morale boosting win over West Brom last week, and a decent enough points at Villa Park in midweek, and they’ll be hoping to carry that good form on here. Loftus Road hasn’t always been the kindest of venues for Chelsea, despite the R’s league struggles. Had this match come early in the season you’d have expected a tough test, but Rangers’ great early form at home has dried up, which has seen them slip into the drop zone.
With a fully fit squad to pick from here, this game shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. Chris Ramsey’s side are 19th for a reason, and we’ve seen the Blues come through much tougher challenges than this over the campaign. Even though there is a little room for error with their lead at the top, five wins from seven is the aim right now, and that’s likely to shrink soon given how inconsistent some of the challengers have been.
But still, with the likes of Arsenal, United and Liverpool still to play in the final seven games, the team can’t afford slip ups against the likes of QPR. This should be a comfortable three points, which would be a step closer to lifting the title. If it isn’t, with some tough fixtures coming up, the chasing pack will be given hope. We may not have a full on title race, but there’s still little room for excitement. But Chelsea should win this one with room to spare.
LCN Verdict: Chelsea to win 3-1