With 2016 almost put to bed, the one major question fans are asking is whether anyone can stop this Chelsea freight train. After the debacle for the Blues last season, there was little doubt that a change of manager would be beneficial. However, no one could have possibly believed that Antonio Conte would have such a profound impact on Chelsea in his first season at the tiller. Chelsea has 46 points, giving them a six-point lead over second-place Liverpool heading into the final weekend of action this year. Manchester City is seven points back and Arsenal is in fourth place with 37 points. It will be a tall order for those three or anyone else to challenge Chelsea the rest of the way.
Chelsea Shows No Signs of Slowing Down
The run that Chelsea is on right now is one of the hottest in Premier League history. The Blues already have set a club record by beating Bournemouth for their 12th-straight win, but they are eyeing bigger marks. With just two more wins, they can best Arsenal’s Premier League record of 13 straight wins. The Gunners reached the mark in back-to-back seasons in the early years of the millennium. There are also several other impressive European winning streaks that Chelsea is within shouting distance of right now.
The Chelsea Christmas Connection
If you are a student of history, you have to like Chelsea’s chances of winning the Premier League when they top the table at Christmastime. In the 24-year history of the league, half of the teams leading at Christmas have ended up winning the title. In Chelsea’s case, they have managed to lift the trophy every time they have held the lead at Christmas. They have a pretty easy schedule in the early parts of the new year, so it’s only looking better for the first place club.
The Energy Under Conte Is Incredible
There can be little argument that the energy around this Chelsea team has been utterly transformed under Conte’s stewardship. Watching the fiery Italian jump around like a little kid celebrating every goal on the sidelines is pure joy for fans. It is especially nice for Chelsea fans after they had to watch so many grumpy-faced showcases under former manager Jose Mourinho. The energy of Conte is infectious. You can see how much more energy the side showcases this year under Conte compared to last season under Mourinho.
In addition to bringing a bundle of energy to the Blues, Conte is also a brilliant tactician. His 3-4-3 formation has made a world of difference for Chelsea. The team can now shift from offense to defense in a heartbeat. Keeping three attackers forward forces opponents to keep less of their own players pushed forward to prevent getting caught out. This has led to Chelsea making other teams feel awkward against them, allowing Chelsea to dictate the action in their games.
While there were some growing pains early in the season for Chelsea, it is plainly apparent that they are on an epic roll right now. They have never played this well in the club’s history, and it is hard to believe that anyone will be able to stop Chelsea other than Chelsea. If they can avoid major injuries, they should cruise to another Premier League title.