By Michael Hann
Chelsea have been accused of being boring but they will not mind one bit if they beat Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Sunday (3.30pm) to win the Premier League title for the first time in five years.
Jose Mourinho’s side were jeered by Arsenal fans during last weekend’s 0-0 draw after a season in which they have been devastatingly effective but occasionally short on sparkle.
A 3-1 win against Leicester City on Wednesday, however, means the London club are three points away from a first league title since Carlo Ancelotti led them to the double in 2010.
With a 13-point lead at the top, Mourinho is within touching distance of a third league championship at Stamford Bridge after back-to-back triumphs in 2005 and 2006 during his first stint in charge.
And with the champagne on ice, the Portuguese coach is not worried about what people are saying about his team.
“I know what I feel in relation to my work in the past two years, I don’t need other people to recognise what we are,” he told Sky Sports.
“I know exactly what we are. We are what every team would like to be.”
Arsenal, in third, remain the only side who can mathematically catch the leaders, having five games left to play to Chelsea’s four.
Arsene Wenger’s team, who face a resurgent Hull City on Monday (10pm), are level on 67 points with last season’s champions and second place Manchester City, who have played a game extra and travel to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday (6pm).
Fourth-placed Manchester United have suffered two defeats in a row but they host West Bromwich Albion on Saturday (7.30pm) hoping to cement their Champions League qualification bid.
United’s cause has been helped by fifth-placed Liverpool going off the boil and Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat against Hull left Brendan Rodgers’ side seven-points adrift of their north-west rivals.
Queens Park Rangers are the visitors to Anfield on Saturday (5pm) and the 19th-placed side are in desperate need of a victory, although three points against Liverpool would still not be enough to lift them out of the relegation zone.
Seventeenth-placed Leicester, one point above 18th-placed Sunderland who host Southampton at the Stadium of Light (5pm), can condemn Newcastle United to an eighth straight league defeat on Saturday (2.45pm).
Bottom club Burnley, five points behind Leicester, face West Ham United at Upton Park on Saturday (5pm) having won one of their previous 13 league fixtures.