Last season, Chelsea FC were unstoppable from the get-go. Right from their first game of the season (a 3-1 win against Burnley), the Blues were in first place on the Premier League standings table. They would hold that lead for the entire length of the 38-game league campaign, not losing a single match until week 15, and only losing three fixtures all season. Sure, Jose Mourinho's squad was criticized for a highly tactical, "boring" style of play, but there was nothing boring for Chelsea fans about getting to see their team thoroughly dominate every other football club in the league. The Blues finished the season with 87 points-eight points above defending champs, Manchester City. Fast forward to the 2015 - 2016 Premier League and what can only be described as Chelsea's nightmare season.
The Current State of Things
We are 12 weeks into the 2015 2016 Premier League season. A year ago at this point, Chelsea hadn't even lost a match yet. This year, three weeks shy of where the Blues lost their first game in the 2014 2015 EPL, the soccer club has already picked up seven losses, and just three wins. The dismal performance has left Chelsea in 16th place on the league standings table, with just 11 points to their name.
To put that number in perspective, AFC Bournemouth-the first team currently sitting in the relegation zone-is just three points behind Chelsea. Manchester City, meanwhile, the league leaders, have taken 26 points from the first 12 fixtures. The Blues, in other words, are 15 points off the lead.
Chelsea's Best-Case Scenario
Consider this, though: there are 26 games left in the current Premier League season. If the Blues were to win every single one of them, they would still only just surpass their 87-point total from last season, with 89. Considering the fact that the Chelsea haven't won two back-to-back EPL fixtures all season, you can pretty easily toss out any chance of the football club defending their title.
The question is, how many of the 78-points that they could still potentially take will Chelsea actually manage to secure? And what should the soccer club's goal be, if winning another title would take nothing less than a God-granted miracle at this point?
Undoubtedly, Jose Mourinho's biggest goal with Chelsea right now is to save face. He's a historically successful manager who has largely done well with his current club. In other words, he's not unlike Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund last year. Dortmund were facing relegation around the mid-season, but Klopp managed to pull the club out of their tailspin and score a seventh-place finish-good enough to qualify for the Europa League.
One could see Mourinho managing a similar course correction in the last 26 games of Chelsea's season. Optimistically, the goal would be a Champions League finish. According to Bleacher Report, since 2010, the fourth-placed Premier League team ended the season with average 72 points. To reach that mark, Chelsea could still only surrender 17 more points of their potential 78. In other words, they couldn't lose more than five games for the rest of the season, and would have to start winning.
More likely, though, a sixth or seventh-place finish to qualify for the Europa League would be more likely. The average seventh place finisher over the past five years has scored 59 points. Chelsea would still have to pick up an average of 1.85 points per match to hit that mark, but would have considerably more room for error. Indeed, the Blues could lose 10 more games, win the other 16, and still have a shot at a seventh place finish.
Where do you think Jose Mourinho's football squad will end up? Will the Blues face relegation just a season after winning the EPL? Or will they find their way back to Champions League qualification range? Pick up a Chelsea jersey 2015/16 at Soccer Box to support the team, and then find us on social media to share your predictions! Soccer Box is active on multiple social networks including Facebook, Instagram, and Google +.