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Week 36 Premier League Preview: 5 Questions

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Lets give Chelsea the credit due, wonder on squad rotation, Red Devils, falling magpies and your top tips.

Champions of England
Champions of England
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

1) What do you like about the champions in Chelsea's title winning season?

The champs have stuttered in performance but not results in recent weeks and that has been the difference between them and the rest this season.  There has been plenty of negativity on the side since Christmas but whilst their play hasn't been flowing as it was in the early season, they were and are the best team in the Premier league this season.

First up some stats.  After 35 of the 38 games played the champs have

  • Conceded just 27 goals a league best.
  • Scored 69 goals, only Manchester City have scored more with 71.
  • Have come from behind to win 4 games this season.
  • They have lost just twice, the next best is Arsenal with 6 defeats.
  • They have won 25 of the 35 games a league high, the next best is Man City/Arsenal with 21.
  • Against the 4 main rivals, City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool they were unbeaten.

What I liked:

Eden Hazard.  For all the dull play at times Hazard has been fantastic.  Ever improving the player is a contender to take over the world player of the year from Lionel Messi/Cristiano Ronaldo in a few years should his progression continue.

The players clearly play for Jose.  That may seem like a simple statement and something all players should do for their manager.  But we have seen many times how hard it is for the manager to get the players to believe in the plan and stick together.   Too often the players have better ideas and the constant talk of dressing power if something any modern day manager has to deal with.  Jose continues to inspire, protect and motivate his troops better than anyone else.

The bad guys.  The EPL is a form of entertainment and a big part of that is your love or hate of a rival player/team.   We need someone/team we can invest our negative emotions in.  Whilst they often have failed to entertain with wonderful pass and move football they have adopted the team we love to hate very well.

There is the standard Jose Mourinho moaning that every decision is against them, diving, stamping, the red mist that Diego Costa has in him and the smugness when parking the bus still achieves the result.  True, most teams have some or all of these elements but Chelsea are this seasons masters.  Chelsea give the league contrast and best of all they don't care that you don't like it.

2) Talking of Chelsea, will a squad player get a chance against Liverpool.

Jose has given his players a few days off to relax, as they to jet off to Dubai.  Willian for example has played an amazing 34 of their 35 league games.  Could big January signing Juan Cuadrado get a run out?  With Kurt Zouma get a run of games at centre back?

3) Are Manchester United about to blow the Champions League spot

3 defeats in a row to Chelsea, Everton and West Bromwich Albion and left Utd 4 points clear of Liverpool in 5th.  Next up is a tricky away day at Crystal Palace before hosting Arsenal and a final day trip to Hull.  Liverpool visit Chelsea, host Palace and go to Stoke on the final day.

This week is key.  Utd have the always awkward evening game on Saturday and any dropped points gives Liverpool with something to fight for the following day.  The Red Devils should have enough on paper and Liverpool do look very unconvincing.  Perhaps it's a sign of how highly I rate the current utd squad that I'm not as confident as I should be.  What do you think?

4) Can Newcastle survive and who will you pick from WBA side this week

Newcastle with a new club record 8 defeats in a row are in major trouble.  They look mentally gone and sit just 2 points off the drop.   Going into week 35 Daryl Janmaat and Mike Williamson are out they don't have recognised names you would associate with being up for the fight.  Two of their final three are at home and even if they lose the final games Sunderland will need to win one of them.  Can they survive?

Oh and I have had my eye on Siem De Jong all season, waiting for fitness.  He came on in the 58th minute against Leicester and must have a chance of starting the weekend. At 4m he is worth a gamble but takes up a vital forward spot.  Any opinions on the pick?

If you think WBA make it 9 straight Magpie defeats then who should we pick up?

5) Give us you must haves for week 36.

Stall