Antonio Conte’s side have escaped the fitness problems that have dogged their rivals and left them clear to be crowned champions
CHELSEA have stormed to the verge of title glory – by being one of the luckiest sides in the Premier League when it comes to injury.
Antonio Conte’s team are on the verge of being crowned champions after a relentless run of form which has seen them fight off all but Tottenham so far.
The Blues have found a winning formula which blends Conte’s tactical nous with the explosive technical ability of players like Eden Hazard and Diego Costa.
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But they have also had a fair amount of fortune on their side this season, thanks to an amazingly small amount of injuries suffered to key players.
Website Premierinjuries.com has logged all the fitness problems suffered by every team in the top flight this season – and they show Chelsea have had it easy compared to all their rivals for the title.
They reveal Conte has been hit by serious injuries – ones which mean ten days or more out of action – 18 times this campaign.
That is half as many as Arsenal, and a huge number fewer than Tottenham, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool have been forced to contend with.
The Blues already had the advantage of not being involved in European competition this season, and those extra matches have clearly taken their toll on the rest.
Arsenal have suffered 37 serious injuries, United 32 and Liverpool 30 as they have been hit with the worst luck of all those hoping to win the league.
City and Spurs have recorded 28 and 27 serious injuries respectively – and those five teams have all seen several key players sidelined for periods this season.
Harry Kane and Toby Alderweireld have been out for long periods at Tottenham, while Liverpool have seen Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho among their top players injured for lengthy periods.
City have been robbed of Sergio Aguero, Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan among others, United have been beset by a host of injuries across their first team and Arsenal have arguably had it worst of all.
But only four Chelsea players have missed three weeks or more, and of those Branislav Ivanovic and Jon Obi Mikel were offloaded in January because they were unwanted.
The other two are John Terry, who cannot get into the side, and Cesc Fabregas – arguably the only regular first team player who has been out for any sustained period.
Conte has nursed his squad through the season well, and that has helped his players stay fit for longer.
But with a smaller workload in matches played because of no European competition, coupled with luck on the impact injuries front when others have suffered, have helped Chelsea to fly high at the top.