Will Chelsea take advantage of soft spot on PL schedule?

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images
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Frank Lampard‘s Chelsea may’ve lost a pair of big games heading into Wednesday’s League Cup match with Grimsby Town, but the Blues manager can realistically daydream of a big run up the table over the next two months.

That the Blues’ (mostly) back-ups went on to score seven goals in a blowout of the Mariners is a nice addition to the discussion.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 7-1 Grimsby Town ]

Beginning Saturday, 11th place Chelsea will intersperse three UEFA Champions League matches with six PL opponents with a combined record of 8W-12D-16L to start the season.

Here are Chelsea’s fixtures heading into final international break of 2019:

Saturday v. Brighton
Wednesday at Lille
Oct. 6 – at Saints
Oct. 19 – v. Newcastle
Oct. 23 – at Ajax
Oct. 26 – at Burnley
Oct. 29 – League Cup v. Manchester United
Nov. 2 – at Watford
Nov. 5 – v. Ajax
Nov. 9 – v. Palace
Chelsea then returns from international break to visit Man City in the PL and Valencia in the UCL before hosting West Ham.

There are a few ways that a weak run of fixtures can go for a club, and Manchester United and Everton have shown the extremes over the past nine months or so.

United rode a low-key fixture list to awarding Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a new job, earning cries of success from those who believed anyone who be better than Jose Mourinho.

Everton has fallen flat this early season, its early season schedule and transfer dealings springing hope that the Toffees could be Top Four after six match days. Of course, Marco Silva‘s men have gained just seven points through six matches.

We’ll soon see how it plays out for the Stamford Bridge set.

Lampard’s challenge will be finding the right mix and the right amount of playing time. If he does that, the Blues will likely be in very good shape for a Top Four battle in the second half of the season.

Consider that Ruben Loftus-Cheek is expected to return to the training ground in the next few weeks, and that Callum Hudson-Odoi has just returned to full fitness.

Tammy Abraham‘s seven goals are second in the league to Sergio Aguero.

The Blues are currently the third-most prolific attack in the Premier League in goals and shots. They’re also fourth in passing percentage, and have allowed the third-fewest shots per match in the league. They are third in tackles per game, and sit third in interceptions per game.

Those are all really good numbers for a team with eight points through six matches, one which lost 4-0 to start its season.

All of that combines to provide hope, but it’ll amount to a hill of beans if the Blues can’t find the right mix.