Chelsea can win their fourth Premier League title with a win over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Sunday having led the table for the duration of the season.
Under a much ‘happier’ (in his own words) Jose Mourinho, the Blues have been a cut above the rest of the top four and will be worthy champions, despite a patchy spell after Christmas.
Dubbed ‘boring’ for the way they saw off both Manchester United and Arsenal, Chelsea have scored goals aplenty and shown the league that a dynamic midfield feeding a red-hot forward is the key. Diego Costa, Oscar and Cesc Fabregas have all starred this season, whilst Nemanja Matic and John Terry have kept things quiet behind them.
But how does this current crop compare to years gone by? With Mourinho set to lift the trophy for the third time, can this team be considered his very best?
2004/2005 – 95 points
In his first season in England, Mourinho created a side that broke all sorts of records and dumped a previously unbeaten Arsenal side into second. Chelsea won the league with a record number of points, conceded the fewest goals in a season and kept the most clean sheets.
A 2-0 win over Bolton at the Reebok Stadium gave Chelsea their first league title in 50 years as the Blues finished 12 points clear of the Gunners thanks to many of their key men. Summer arrivals Petr Cech, Ricardo Carvalho, Didier Drogba and Arjen Robben joined the dynamic duo of Frank Lampard and John Terry, creating a force that has dominated almost every piece of silverware in the last decade.
Top Scorer: Lampard (19)
Average First XI: Cech; Gallas, Carvalho, Terry, Ferreira; Makelele, Lampard, Tiago, Duff; Drogba, Gudjohnsen
2005/2006 – 91 points
Having won the league at a canter the season before, and performed so well in other competitions that year, 2005/06 was a let down as Chelsea were unable to win any other major trophy.
The league was won at home against runners-up Manchester United, who finished eight points adrift of Mourinho’s men. The spending spree seen the season before continued as Shaun Wright-Phillips and Michael Essien both arrived for >£20m, though only the Ghanaian made a real impact at Stamford Bridge. The likes of Drogba, Cech, Terry and Lampard continued as pillars of the team, though it was the last time Mourinho led them to the title until this campaign, nine years on.
Top Scorer: Lampard (20)
Average First XI: Cech; Gallas, Carvalho, Terry, Del Horno; Makelele, Essien, Lampard; Joe Cole, Drogba, Robben
2009/2010 – 86 points
Chelsea won their third Premier League title in style, thumping Wigan 8-0 to stay a single point ahead of Manchester United. Goals from Nicolas Anelka (2), Frank Lampard, Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba (3) and Ashley Cole sealed a famous win that had Stamford Bridge rocking even before John Terry lifted the trophy.
In fact it was a stellar year under Carlo Ancelotti as Chelsea completed the Double and scored over 100 league goals. Drogba and Anelka formed a formidable partnership up top with the popular Ivorian taking the Golden Boot that season, though Lampard also chipped in with 26 strikes.
The season featured some incredible results, such as a 7-0 win over Stoke, 7-1 thrashing of Villa, a 5-0 away victory at Portsmouth and a 7-2 thumping of Sunderland! So much for the current criticism of ‘boring’ Chelsea, this lot were a joy to watch!
Top Scorer: Drogba (29)
Average First XI: Cech; Ashley Cole, Carvalho, Terry, Ivanovic; Mikel, Ballack, Lampard; Malouda, Drogba, Anelka