Two tricky home ties: Predicting the results of Chelsea's next five fixtures
Chelsea players will barely have unwrapped their Christmas presents before they head off again into the wintery landscape of the Premier League.
The roast turkey probably won’t have even settled by the time the Blues travel to Aston Villa on Boxing Day.
Those two glasses of buck fizz should be out of the system when Thomas Tuchel’s men host Brighton & Hove Albion three days later.
Chesterfield’s visit to Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup third round on the 8th of January is sandwiched between two mega matchups with Liverpool and Manchester City.
Here, we look into our crystal balls and attempt to predict Chelsea’s next five fixtures.
26/12/21: Aston 1-1 Chelsea
When Tuchel’s team defeated Villa 3-0 earlier in the campaign, the club was in a buoyant mood.
Romelu Lukaku was scoring, Mateo Kovacic had a day to remember and a clean sheet was customary.
Fast forward a few months and the picture looks entirely different.
Chelsea are set to take the trip to Villa Park still without several senior stars due to covid protocols.
Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Timo Werner will have finished their isolation period by then, but their lack of training time with the side will set them back.
After facing Brentford in the Carabao Cup just a few days before, the Blues may be feeling a hangover ahead of their journey to the West Midlands.
Meanwhile, Villa have changed their fortunes thanks to a change in manager.
Steven Gerrard has won four of his six games since leaving Rangers and would love to get one over his age-old rivals.
Expect a tight contest that cannot be separated by the final whistle.
Mason Mount to get Chelsea’s goal after 20 minutes, only for John McGinn to equalise on the hour.
29/12/21: Chelsea 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
By the time Brighton take the A23 to the capital, the Blues should be approaching full strength again.
The covid absentees may have a few sessions at Cobham under their belt, plus the majority of the injury problems could finally be out the door.
Therefore, we anticipate something close to a routine victory for Chelsea.
Graham Potter’s group play with their usual confidence, but fail to create any meaningful chances.
Meanwhile, the other boys in blue tuck their efforts away nicely.
Hakim Ziyech to net a silky long-ranger, before a Reece James rocket makes it two for the hosts.
02/01/22: Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool
This encounter really is one for the record books.
Two historic opponents, both jostling for top spot in the league, with so much at stake on the line.
Liverpool enter the fray without Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane due to Africa Cup of Nations duties, which takes the sting out of their attack.
Chelsea are only dented by the omission of Edouard Mendy, who is too away at AFCON.
Due to missing Mane and Salah, the Reds can muster just a few opportunities, one that is taken by Diogo Jota.
But the Blues are on a mission to halt Jurgen Klopp’s title charge and come storming out of the blocks in the second half, roared on by the Bridge faithful.
Antonio Rudiger powers in a header, which is followed up by a rare goal from Werner.
08/01/22: Chelsea 4-0 Chesterfield
No giant killings on the cards today.
Chelsea’s third consecutive home match produces their third consecutive win.
Chesterfield simply cannot compete with the Blues, despite Tuchel’s heavy rotation of the starting XI.
Saul Niguez grabs his first for his new employers, which is proceeded by strikes from Harvey Vale, Ross Barkley and Jude Soonsup-Bell.
15/01/22: Manchester City 2-1 Chelsea
This really is the headline act on a weekend that also has the North London derby on show.
The current holders versus their nearest rivals, going head-to-head in Manchester.
Tuchel versus Pep Guardiola again. Joao Cancelo versus James. Mount versus Jack Grealish. Class everywhere you look.
The entertainment is worth its weight in gold.
Both outfits go at it from the first whistle, with little respect for defending in the opening exchanges.
City go in front thanks to Bernardo Silva, yet are pegged back by a Jorginho penalty.
Guardiola’s boys do grind out the win, thanks to a scrappy winner ten minutes from the end.