Chelsea have not been clicking recently, with narrow and nervy victories over poor opposition becoming the norm.
A loss against Sunderland in the Capital One Cup proved that they do have issues that need addressing. Whilst they are not convincingly winning every game, the fact remains that they are two points off league-leaders Arsenal - and in the last 16 of the Champions League against a Galatasaray team that will surely be beaten over the course of both legs.
Chelsea also have a very winnable match against Derby County in the FA Cup and will hope to progress into the fourth round.
The next three league games will be vital to how Chelsea do in the league and where they will be come May 2014.
A match against Arsenal could see them go a point ahead of their London rivals with a win. A home game against a Swansea team in bad form with only one win in six in all competitions is closely followed by the last game of the season against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal vs Chelsea (Monday 23.12)
A win in this game would see Chelsea leapfrog their rivals and could see them go first if Liverpool cannot beat Cardiff on Saturday. This would surely ease the woes of being knocked out of the League Cup on Tuesday. Arsenal will want to get some revenge for their own exit at the hands of Chelsea. Their previous meeting ended 2-0 in Chelsea's favour.
Chelsea will be boosted by WIlshere's ban which was issued after the game against Manchester City and Mourinho will most likely select Ivanovic and Azpilicueta as full backs with former "Gunner" Cole taking his place on the bench. It will be interesting to see who is selected to play up front for the Blues.
Whilst Arsenal do have firepower up front, they will not find such easy success in this game as in previous matches. Giroud is the kind of striker John Terry likes playing against and it would not be a surprise if the Chelsea captain has the Frenchman in his pocket for the game.
With Arsenal slightly depleted the moment and Chelsea angry and ready to go, I predict a narrow Chelsea victory which may instigate an Arsenal free fall down the table.
Chelsea vs Swansea (Thursday 26.12)
Mourinho will almost certainly chop and change his team for this encounter but with Swansea in the kind of form that they are in, it is difficult seeing them get anything from this game. Whilst Swansea are not easy to beat at home, they are not always the strongest on the road and will struggle against Chelsea - especially if they are coming off the back of a victory against Arsenal.
Swansea will sit back and try to counter and the key for Chelsea will be to get the opener. If they do, Swansea will try to open the game up in order to find an equaliser. This will leave space for the likes of Hazard and Oscar to exploit, which they should with relative ease. One clean sheet for the "Swans" in ten will make pleasant reading for the Chelsea attackers and they could end up having a field day in front of the goal.
I see a Chelsea win and I fancy them to notch a few in the process with Cech registering his first clean sheet in what seems like an age.
Chelsea vs Liverpool (Sunday 29.12)
If, as predicted, Chelsea beat Arsenal and Liverpool beat Cardiff, this could end up being a top-of-the-table clash with both teams on equal points going into the encounter.
It is very difficult to predict the outcome of this match and I really do believe it will be down to how Suarez plays on the day. Unlike Giroud, this is the kind of player that Terry hates playing against.
The nimble footed forward may be too quick for the former England captain and this could mean he has a second Christmas in terms of gifts. On the other hand, Mourinho will realise that Suarez is their main danger and could utilise tactics to mark him out of the game and blunt Liverpool's attacking threat.
Depending on what happens with the Uruguayan striker, I can see this game go either way. If the Chelsea that beat Manchester City show up then the Blues could win this fairly well. If the Chelsea that did not have a shot on target against Basel show up then it could end up being a feast for the ever-hungry Suarez - Lets just hope that this time he is only hungry for goals and not Serbian right-backs as well.
As this is such an unpredictable game, I am going to go for a share of the spoils.
If these predictions become reality then Chelsea will go into 2014 joint top of the league with a Liverpool side that is ever-reliant on Suarez.
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