Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has called on the fans to give them a final title push as Manchester United piled the pressure back on the Blues with a 3-1 victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford.
The win put United back on top of the Barclays Premier League by two points but Chelsea will go back to the summit by a single point if they can overcome Stoke at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Chelsea's players have spent much of the week getting over their 2-1 reverse by Tottenham last weekend but they have the best home record in the top flight with only five points dropped from 17 games.
Carlo Ancelotti's side have won all three matches since the Manchester City reverse with 12 goals scored and two conceded and Drogba knows how important the home fans can be.
"You never know what can happen, games are difficult now," said Drogba. "Some teams are trying to save lives but some teams are playing for little and can enjoy themselves, and sometimes then you play better.
"It is going to be difficult, but it is up to us. We need the fans to be really behind us, to be even better than against Bolton in the last game.
"Sunday is the kind of game that we are going to have until the end of the season so we need them to be patient and to really shout and sing and be supportive, that is the only way to win it.
"I remember the games when we were champions, like against Charlton the game after we won it in 2005, and against Manchester United the next year. The atmosphere was amazing. These are the kinds of atmosphere from the Chelsea supporters when it matters, and now it matters. It is important for them to be there and help us to achieve it."
Following the setback against Spurs, Drogba believes the squad have done all they can on the training pitch to get back on track.
"As always we work hard in the week," he said. "Sometimes it is not only because you work hard that you win at the end of the week but we will do everything in our powers to arrive there with fresh legs.
"The motivation has to be high because there are only three league games to go and three wins and we are there."
Meanwhile, it is still not too late for Ryan Shawcross to gatecrash the England World Cup squad, claims Stoke manager Tony Pulis.
Defender Shawcross is back in Stoke's squad for their tough trip to Stamford Bridge.
He has been out since late February after being sent-off against Arsenal for the tackle which ended Aaron Ramsey's season, and then an ankle problem for himself.
Now he has just four games left to force his way into Fabio Capello's thinking, having been called up for the last England match.
The former Manchester United youngster is not even sure he will be in Pulis' starting line-up at Stamford Bridge, with the Potteries boss unsure of using the defender from the start in such a high-profile match.
Pulis says: "He has trained well all week and is certainly in contention, but I have not decided yet whether to put him straight into the side."
However, that reluctance does not affect Pulis' opinion of the player. He said: "Ryan is one of the best young players in the Premier League in his position, no-one will convince me otherwise.
"He is one of the young players that we will be building this club around over the next five four or five years or so.
"He has already captained this club as a youngster, and I certainly see him as a future long-term captain of Stoke.
"I still think he can make the England World Cup squad, it is still very open and there are always a few injuries at the end of the season so he still has a great chance of being involved, as has Matthew Etherington.
"If I was picking the team then Ryan would go, but I am not picking it, that is up to Fabio Capello. I won't tell him what to do or not to do.
"That is up to him. But as a young player then Shawcross has got what it takes."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms