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Jamie Redknapp: Chelsea strong enough to win Premier League THIS season

Jamie Redknapp - Jamie Redknapp Posted 6th March 2014 view comments

Jose Mourinho continues to try and put the pressure on the other sides in the title race - but his Chelsea team are now in the box seat to win the Premier League.

Mourinho is the master at presenting his side as the underdog but his team are the ones to beat at the moment.

They're top of the table and, although Manchester City, who are six points back, have two games in hand, you'd rather have the points in the bag.

Mourinho: has been trying to put pressure on rivals, but has squad to win league, says Jamie

Mourinho: has been trying to put pressure on rivals, but has squad to win league, says Jamie

One thing which may turn it around is if City go out of the Champions League to Barcelona and Chelsea progress. That will bring added pressures to the Chelsea squad but for now they are so well placed and have good players in good form.

Chelsea have always been in my equation and I never thought 'they can't win this league' because they've got the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Frank Lampard and John Terry. I laugh when I hear Mourinho say they aren't ready to win it.

I laugh when I hear Mourinho say they aren't ready to win the league.

Jamie Redknapp
Quotes of the week


The odds on Chelsea winning the title are 6/5 with Sky Bet


Jose has said 'next year' and I think that's because they're bringing in a top class striker in the summer, a player such as Edinson Cavani, Radamel Falcao or Diego Costa. He was caught out by French TV saying he hasn't got a striker and that's the only weakness in this team.

But, in saying that, they've not been a team reliant on strikers - they've always had a Lampard or, now, a Hazard, who can get 15-20 goals a year, which makes up if the forwards aren't in form and scoring.

Because of the system Chelsea play, with one up, midfielders have always had to chip in with goals and that's not a lot different from before. Yes, they haven't got Didier Drogba but they've still got an incredibly strong squad.

Defence

Their back four, in particular, is as good as anybody's.

Mourinho has settled on Terry and Gary Cahill as his centre-back partnership, with Cesar Azpilicueta and Branislav Ivanovic as full-backs.

The latter two could almost play centre-back as well, if needed. They're very strong and don't bomb on like full-backs at some other sides. They're defenders first and attackers second.

Not many teams have found a nice balance like that - Manuel Pellegrini doesn't seem to have found the right person to partner Vincent Kompany at Man City, while Liverpool would win the title if they had Chelsea's backline.

Also in Chelsea's advantage is their run-in.

After facing Tottenham on Saturday Night Football this weekend, the Blues host Arsenal and then travel to Liverpool at the end of April in what could be a title-decider. But other than that, seven of their last nine games are against teams in the bottom half of the table.

When you look at those fixtures you have to say it's in Chelsea's hands to a certain extent.

However, as I said in last week's column, Liverpool mustn't be discounted from the title race.

The Reds have the two best strikers in the top flight in Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez and, with no European football to worry about, they can fully focus on their league run-in.

With City able to get back on level terms with Chelsea if they win their games in hand, this title race is such a tight one to call.

Third-placed Arsenal will also be hoping to get involved, although they seem to be having one disappointment after the other at the moment, with their frustrating defeat at Stoke being followed by Jack Wilshere's injury while on England duty.

They need Aaron Ramsey back soon if they want to get their title charge back on track.

Battle

Spurs, who have won nine away from home this season, have never beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League and it will be interesting to see what system Tim Sherwood goes there with this weekend to try and break that streak.

He's got Emmanuel Adebayor, who scored there last year, back in form and I think he'll probably go with him up front on his own and move Roberto Soldado back to the bench.

Tim won't want to get outnumbered in midfield and can always turn to the Spaniard, who scored the winner against Cardiff last week, if Spurs are still looking for a goal later in the game.

However, I also expect Kyle Walker to be fit and it will be a brilliant battle between him and Eden Hazard, two flying machines.

That's the match-up everyone's looking at because if Hazard can get Walker into difficult positions Tottenham could be exposed.

I see this being a tight game, though, and I'm going for a 1-1 draw.


Redknapp is backing a 1-1 draw in Chelsea v Tottenham at 11/2 with Sky Bet


Tottenham have had a bit of bad luck at Stamford Bridge over the years but they've got the pace and counter-attacking style to hit back at Chelsea and with Jan Vertonghen and Michael Dawson back in defence that will make a difference.

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