Part of what made Chelsea’s superb sprint to the title last season so special was the way that they came from nowhere, and won against all expectations.
After the disastrous season under Jose Mourinho the year before, expectations were low, and a shaky start finishing with heavy losses to Arsenal and Liverpool plus a strong start from Manchester City meant that by October last year Antonio Conte’s men were barely considered in the frame.
What happened next was an astonishing run of victories as the Blues steamed to the title.
The same thing could be about to happen again. The injuries to Alvaro Morata and N’Golo Kante plus the defeat to Man City before the break has seen most pundits writing Chelsea off. But an easy run of league fixtures including games against Watford and Bournemouth follow this weekend’s game against Crystal Palace.
It’s not been the perfect start for Conte’s men, but they’ve put themselves in a good position for a mid-season surge just like last year.