As The Premier League enters the final run-in of the season, where Chelsea lay on the cusp of lifting the title, while others fight for their lives in the division, co-editor Kevin Kelly discusses all the key talking points ahead of the weekend’s action.
Old Guard on Guard as Chelsea Prepare to Lift Title:
Chelsea go into Sunday’s clash knowing a win will mean they’ll lift The Premier League title for the first time since 2010. Having returned in the summer of 2014 with the goal of returning the Blues to the summit of English football, Jose Mourinho has duly obliged, looking set to win his 3rd Premier League title with Chelsea in his second season back at the Bridge.
Chelsea winning the title will be no surprise to anyone who follows the league, but it is noteworthy that Didier Drogba and perhaps even Peter Cech will play in the game, in what would be a perfect final send off for the pair following their illustrious career. Loic Remy and Diego Costa have suffered sporadic injuries in recent months, paving the way for Drogba be play as often as possible as his second stint at Chelsea comes to a close.
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Drogba has played five times (293 minutes) for Chelsea in The Premier League this season scoring twice, while Cech has features six times (517 minutes). The pair will be joined by the last of the old guard John Terry, though the club captain will be staying on for another season. Terry has played 34 times (3060 minutes) in The Premier League this season, scoring four goals along the way to becoming joint top scorer for a defender in Premier League history with 38, alongside David Unsworth – though he notably took penalties, making Terry’s feat even more impressive.
Last Chance Saloon for Burnley:
Sitting in 20th place Sean Dyche must feel like the loneliest man in the world as Burnley go into Saturday’s clash knowing a win is all but a mathematical necessity to keep their unlikely dream of Premier League survival alive. Burnley travel to West Ham with some genuine hopes though; The Hammers have symbolised the cliché of ‘on the beach’ for a number of weeks now, with their form dipping to only one win in their previous six matches.
The worrying thing for Burnley though, is their form is even worse, having picked up only four points from a possible 18 available. Dyche will have to sweat on the fitness of Sam Vokes who’s set for a late fitness test ahead of the game. West Ham may have Alex Song back, who had suffered a back injury, adding to the headaches of Dyche as he fights for Premier League Survival.
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Rodgers to Stop the Rot?
It’s been a woeful few weeks for Brendan Rodgers, culminating in some serious questions about his job at Liverpool. Saturday’s clash with QPR is the next test in whether he can steer the Reds away from such form which has lead to his tenure being under such scrutiny.
Having lost to Manchester United and Arsenal, and then Aston Villa in the FA Cup what seemed like a likely top four finish and FA Cup win has now collapsed for the Irishman at the helm for the Reds. Liverpool’s form is dubious at best; picking up only seven points from a potential 18 available. With Mario Balotelli injured again and Daniel Sturridge off to America to see another specialist, Rodgers will need to further tinker his side s he looks to get out of this perilous slump.