The excellent run of results and form enjoyed by Chelsea is generating plenty of debate. After coming back from behind to produce a classy display against Leeds United, the 3-1 final score didn’t flatter Frank Lampard’s team, who could, and probably should, have won by a much bigger margin at Stamford Bridge.
As the Premier League table begins to take shape at the top, Chelsea are very much in the mix, having lost just one game. Interestingly, that one game was against reigning champions Liverpool in the second game of the season, yet Jurgen Klopp refuses to dismiss the Blues as potentially being the biggest rivals for his team.
After they briefly topped the Premier League table, Chelsea “look like the favourites” according to Klopp, in comments highlighted by the Daily Mail. “They have the bigger squad, great players, they’re playing well,” observed the German coach, suggesting that Lampard has a much better pool of talent available to him this season.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 5, 2020
Regardless of what could simply be mind-games by the Liverpool boss, his team currently remain outright Premier League football betting favourites at 7/4 odds. Likewise, Manchester City are priced at 2/1 odds and are still considered the strongest contenders. Meanwhile, odds for Chelsea at 5/1 reflect their excellent recent form and consistency.
Having qualified for the next phase of the Champions League as Group E leaders, thanks to an emphatic 0-4 away win in Spain against Sevilla, the focus for Chelsea over the next couple of months can turn entirely to their domestic commitments. Buoyed by the confidence that seems to ooze from Lampard’s men of late, it’s hard to doubt their credentials as Premier League contenders.
Nevertheless, there are some who believe the Blues will eventually lose momentum. “Chelsea are probably the third-best team in England,” says Owen Hargreaves in thoughts noted by Metro. “I don’t think they’re good enough or consistent enough to compete,” he suggested, certain the Blues will not finish above Liverpool or Manchester City.
“I would love to be part of the long-term plan here [Chelsea].
“But that’s a club decision so I have to get on with the short-term. I’m a lucky man to be managing the club that I love & is my life. I want to make a success of it & be here as long as I can.”
– Frank Lampard pic.twitter.com/XpjtgF5oN9
— Simon Phillips (@SiPhillipsSport) December 5, 2020
“I don’t think it will even be close,” insisted Hargreaves, who simply feels that Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have much stronger squads, along with the experience and staying power to challenge for the Premier League title. The former Bayern Munich and Manchester United player did admit to admiring Lampard, and the team he is building. However, he just doesn’t see Chelsea as genuine contenders yet.
While the team’s chances of competing for the Premier League still remain up for debate, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has absolutely no doubts about the coaching ability of Lampard praising the tactical understanding of his former England colleague. Neville praised how well Chelsea contained Tottenham Hotspur during their 0-0 draw at the end of November, nullifying the attacking threats posed by Jose Mourinho’s team.
Given that Chelsea and Lampard are generating so many talking points, both the team and the manager are being taken very seriously. Opinions may still remain mixed, although it’s fair to say the Blues will definitely be there, or thereabouts, come the end of the campaign. If the recent form can be maintained, this could yet be a memorable season rewarded with silverware.