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Are Chelsea Unstoppable?

Nine games in and Chelsea lead their Premier League rivals by five points, but is the title as good as theirs before we reach November?

Chelsea's Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda


The Blues lead is the joint-second largest at this stage in the Premier League era, behind only Jose Mourinho’s 2005/06 side that lead by eight points after winning their opening nine games on the way to being crowned champions. However, it’s worth noting that five of their nine matches have been against teams currently in the bottom eight while two of the others were against newly promoted teams.

Of the seven previous teams to lead by 3-5 points at this stage just one has gone on to lift the title, including none of three that were 4-5 points ahead, although six of the seven did finish in the top three. Furthermore, 6/18 champions have been 5-6 points off the lead (none were further back) after nine games, while all 18 winners were in the top five at this stage.

Across Europe, Barcelona are the only La Liga side back to 1997/98 to lead by more than three points after nine games and on both occasions they finished as champions, with the next biggest lead being three point gaps held by Deportivo and Real Sociedad respectively who both ultimately finished second. Furthermore, in 11 seasons where there were at least four sides within six points of the lead after nine games the leader won just three times, with six winners in the past 13 seasons coming from 3-5 points back at this stage.

In Italy five sides have held a lead of three or more points after nine games since 1997/98 (two of these were in 34 game seasons), with all five teams going on to win Serie A (although Juventus were stripped of their title in 2005/06). However, in two of those five seasons the third-placed side was already at least eight points behind.

With Chelsea facing a couple of tricky away games at Blackburn and Liverpool, and then a very taxing December where they will play Everton, Spurs, Manchester United and Arsenal they currently look too short in the title race.

Recommendation: Lay Chelsea to win Premier League at 1.7, Betfair

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