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Chelsea’s Confidence Grows

By | 9th March 2009

chelsea-celebrateWhile almost all members of the media are tipping Manchester United for a record breaking trophy haul, I can’t help but look towards Guus Hiddink and his Chelsea side and see an obstacle. The Stamford Bridge outfit have only improved since the changing of the guard (Scolari to Hiddink), and with a few key players returning from injury I can’t help but think Chelsea will be amongst the trophies come May.

The catalyst, in my opinion, is Michael Essien. The talismanic midfielder will be the usual workforce that Chelsea fans are familiar with. His return from injury, and most probably his return to form, is quite symbolic about the remainder of the season. With United looking unstoppable game in and game out, Sir Alex Ferguson still realizes that one thing is missing: a truly inspirational and rugged midfielder. Ah, yes, a Michael Essien. The Ghanian was much sought after by United before he signed for Chelsea, and lining up in a blue kit means only one thing: as long as United don’t have Essien, he is in a perfect position to put them to the sword. And what club has a better chance of doing that than Chelsea? I’d say none.

All of the pieces of the puzzle appear to be falling into place at Stamford Bridge. Nicolas Anelka has been sensational this season, picking up the slack left by Didier Drogba’s absences. Even then, Drogba finds himself back on the teamsheets – and, more importantly, back on the goalscoring sheets. Drogba’s return to form couldn’t have come at a better time, and his goal against Juventus set Chelsea back on track in their pursuit for a Champions League crown.

Domestically, Chelsea are finally putting pressure on league leaders Manchester United. With only seven points separating the two sides, if Chelsea can keep up their winning ways they’ll be expecting United to start dropping some points – especially with a crucial match against Liverpool coming up this weekend at Old Trafford. Previously in fifth place in the league under Scolari, Hiddink has brought the club to second place, which truly shows their quick turnaround.

In the FA Cup, only the winner of the Hull City v Arsenal match stands in the way of another FA Cup final. Hiddink has pointed to the competition as another place where the Blues can stop United, as Fergie and his men look to topple Everton in the semifinals. An FA Cup between the Reds and the Blues only brings back bad memories for United fans around the world…

With advancement in Europe still on the cards (although I’m sure this could change in a matter of hours), an FA Cup semifinal date already booked, and a second placed position in the Premier League already established, Chelsea appear to be growing in confidence. While United are being touted as trophy winners this season, I can assure you that at least one set of eyes is looking towards Stamford Bridge.

Can Chelsea snag some trophies from under Sir Alex Ferguson’s nose? Have your say in the comments section, or head on over to the Premiership Talk Forum!

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