Paul Merson predicted in his Sky Sports column where Chelsea would finish in the Premier League and highlighted who might be their direct competition.

There is still all to play for in terms of European ambitions, with five or six teams realistically in the hunt for a top four spot.

Chelsea are certainly back in contention following Thomas Tuchel’s arrival.

Half a dozen league games unbeaten have dragged them from mid-table to fifth place.

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Premier League
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 04: Thomas Tuchel, Manager of Chelsea celebrates following the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur Hotspur and Chelsea at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on February 04, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

They are now two points behind West Ham United and six behind Leicester City in third.

Admittedly, the Blues recent fixture list has been extremely favourable and one Tuchel would’ve been grateful to receive having just taken the job.

Their run in from now until the campaign’s conclusion looks far less desirable.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton, and Leeds United are next up domestically, with two Champions League ties against Atletico Madrid sandwiched in at various points.

Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 24: Ngolo Kante of Chelsea battles with Victor Lindelof of Man Utd (L) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka of Man Utd (R) during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on October 24, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Merson believed this next month would determine Chelsea’s season.

“This period now and until the end of March is a defining time for Tuchel and Chelsea,” said the former Arsenal midfielder.

“It’s the be-all and end-all of their season, without a doubt. The real test starts now for this Chelsea side.

“They have five or six matches coming up which will define their whole season.”

That trip to Anfield on the 4th of March is set to be a mouth-watering affair, not least because it could decide who gets Champions League football next year.

Chelsea v Liverpool - Premier League
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 20: (THE SUN OUT,THE ON SUNDAY OUT ) Liverpool Roberto Firmino during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 20, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool Fc Via Getty Images)

Liverpool remains just three points adrift of Chelsea despite their poor form and Merson felt this could be a pinnacle match for both clubs.

“For me, it’s between Chelsea and Liverpool for that final spot,” he said.

“If Chelsea have a good March, that’s it, they are in. But I worry about Chelsea scoring enough goals. I can’t see them blowing teams away.”

Plenty has been made about the fact Chelsea need to sign a new striker.

Between Tammy Abraham, Olivier Giroud and Timo Werner, the Blues forward line only has three goals under Tuchel.

They will need to relocate their shooting boots very soon if they’re to survive these next four weeks of ferocious football.  

The Chelsea Chronicle View

I agree with Merson in the fact that these next couple of fortnights are huge for Chelsea.

What I dispute is that Liverpool are their only real threat.

West Ham United have been excellent this year. Everton have proved they can compete with the best.

This two-horse race has turned into the Grand National.

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