Cracks Starting To Show At Stuttering Chelsea

Mick Bates by Mick Bates / 02 November 2011, 12:41

Both Andre Villas-Boas and Chelsea have endured a difficult 10 days. Not only have The Blues lost back-to-back Premier League matches, which has seen them slip further behind league leaders Manchester City, but their captain John Terry has been accused of potentially damaging racist allegations. On top of that they have suffered further off-field distractions concerning the club's stadium Stamford Bridge and the surrounding land. Their problems spread to Europe last night when they were held to a disappointing draw against Belgium side Genk in the Champions League as their position at the top of Group E starts to come under threat.

Chelsea had their temperament criticised after going down to nine men in the defeat to West London rivals QPR, which resulted in a £20,000 fine from the FA for failing to control their players. Their usually resilient defence has been uncharacteristically error strewn this season with the back four failing to keep a clean sheet since the opening day of the season. Chelsea shipped in five goals at home to Arsenal on Saturday, the first time they had conceded this number of goals in a match at the Bridge in 22 years. Villas-Boas has insisted that Chelsea will not abandon their attacking philosophy despite the manner of their defeat against The Gunners, however, he will know that you cannot hope to win the Premier League with a leaky defence and something needs to be done soon to tighten up the wobbly back-line.

History tells us that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is certainly not afraid to send a manager packing if performances are not up to scratch and he will no doubt be concerned with events both on and off the field during the past couple of weeks. Villas-Boas needs to find a way of getting Chelsea out of their recent slump, and fast. If they are not careful the title race will soon become a two-horse race between the Manchester clubs, and with Newcastle, Tottenham and Liverpool all in good form Chelsea could be in danger of falling out of the top four. Their recent stumbling have seen their odds drift slightly to 7/1 to win the Premier League title while Villas-Boas still has long odds of 40/1 in the Next Premier League Manager To Be Sacked Betting, but expect these to shorten if they lose at the weekend.

Up next for Chelsea is a trip to Ewood Park this Saturday to face struggling Blackburn Rovers. It's a game that they really should win considering that Rovers have just one win to their name all season and Chelsea are unbeaten against them in 10 matches. Chelsea are the odds-on 4/9 favourites for the win with Paddy Power while Rovers are priced at 13/2 to come away with only their second league win of the season, with a draw available at 16/5.

All odds supplied by Paddy Power.

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