Branislav Ivanovic believes that Chelsea are starting to look like champions again and this season represents their best chance to win the Premier League since 2010.
It has been an up-and-down season for Jose Mourinho’s side but despite their shortcomings they are still just the four points behind an Arsenal side that has been earning all the plaudits.
In the last three seasons the Blues have struggled over the winter periods – particularly November – and have been left behind the challengers with too much ground to make up but the table is looking healthy for them at the moment.
December is a crucial month for Mourinho’s side – especially as they will have a showdown with Arsenal on the 23rd at the Emirates and host fourth-placed Liverpool on the 29th.
Ivanovic believes they’re in good shape. The 29-year-old said:
“At the moment, this is our best opportunity since 2010 to win it.
“In the years before at this stage, we would always be trailing by a lot of points. But we are up there now and this has given us a great chance. It’s a good thing when you go into each game feeling you are there and right at the top.
“It’s not like last year where we had to run for the points and it put us under pressure and was much more difficult. We have improved as a team but we have to show it every game.”
Chelsea have recovered eight points from losing positions already this season and Ivanovic believes that this sort of fighting spirit shows they have the character to do great things.
“This team has the character to do things like that [come from behind] but it’s important to show that every match, to be at our top level.”
“In December, you can definitely see why this League is so hard.
“It provides one of the main references for how strong your team is and if it’s tough enough to win this League.
“It’s important for us during these physical games to win and get the points.
“Before the start, we said the League was going to be very equal and difficult, with a lot of teams having the ability to win. Five or six teams can win the League and that makes it extremely hard.”
Chelsea may not be playing the sort of football that is pleasing on the eye at the moment but they are getting the job done and do look like the sort of side that will lift the title at the end of the season.
Arsenal are flying high at the moment but will probably need to steer clear of injuries and suspensions more than their rivals if they’re to end their trophy drought this season and I believe Chelsea’s biggest challenge will come from Manchester City as soon as they work out how to replicate their home form away from the Etihad.
How far do you think this Chelsea side can go under Mourinho this season?