Back in October, Chelsea were sitting four points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Fast forward four months, and they are now lagging 19 points behind, but more worryingly are just two points ahead of fifth place Arsenal. 

What was supposed to be a title challenge has turned into an ugly battle for Champions League football. 

With Tottenham on form, and the annual spring resurgence from Arsenal, Chelsea face a real fight to qualify for the Elite stage of football. 

Taking a look at the run-ins doesn't make for good reading for Chelsea fans. The Blues still have to travel to Liverpool and Manchester United, as well as welcoming Tottenham and Everton to Stamford Bridge. 

They also have some tricky looking games at Fulham and Southampton, but a team with Chelsea's quality should be winning those games.

They have some fantastic players, such as Eden Hazard and Juan Mata. However, they lack a potent spearhead, with Fernando Torres misfiring and Demba Ba still trying to gel with his new teammates.

Tottenham also have a very difficult run in. They face Liverpool away, Chelsea away, Man City at home and Everton at home. Further away trips to  Swansea and Stoke will also be tricky contests. 

These will all prove tests of Tottenham's European credentials. 

Gareth Bale has been on fire of late and has been single handedly earning them points. If he stays on form, it is hard to see them miss out on the Champions League. When Jermain Defoe returns they should have enough to get over the line.

Arsenal have the kindest run in of the three teams. They still have to face Champions-elect Manchester United, but before that they travel to Tottenham and Swansea. They also face Everton at the Emirates next month. Wenger has great experience of the battle for fourth spot but his side is much weaker than in past years. Much more must be expected of Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Gervinho as the battle heats up.  

Prediction: Chelsea 3rd Tottenham 4th


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