Chelsea are often accused of taking an overly pragmatic approach onto the pitch with them, but they certainly know how to get results.
Keeping hold of the ball is not Jose Mourinho’s style, but how have his team fared in and out of possession when compared with their major rivals in Premier League matches since the beginning of last season?
POSSESSION OVER 50%
The Blues have enjoyed the majority of possession in 30 of their previous 42 top-flight encounters, with this being the lowest figure amongst the top six finishers from 2014/15. Chelsea have actually won 20 of these contests, however, with their points per game average of 2.17 putting them at the top of the charts.
POSSESSION UNDER 50%
Two things stand out when looking at the 12 matches in which Mourinho’s men have had to settle for less than 50% of the ball. Firstly, the West London outfit are the proud owners of an unbeaten record and, secondly, their points per game average once again stands at 2.17. Unlike when enjoying the lion’s share of possession, however, this return only places them fourth amongst the major clubs.
These figures just go to show that Chelsea are equally comfortable with or without the ball, a claim that none of their rivals can make. This adaptability paid rich dividends last season, so the Blues will be hoping for similar results this time around.
Chelsea visit Goodison Park on Saturday lunchtime. Everton are known for their possession-based approach, but Roberto Martinez’s men have only enjoyed more of the ball than their opponents in one Premier League game so far this season.
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