Rafael Benitez still confident of Chelsea title challenge


Interim boss Rafael Benitez believes Chelsea can still win the title despite not scoring in his first two games in charge. Chelsea recorded a goalless draw against Fulham after the Blues' own fans jeered the new boss in a goalless draw with Manchester City. Chelsea are now seven points behind leaders Manchester United in third position.

"Why can't we?" Benitez said when asked about Chelsea's title hopes. "It's still a long way to go. We have to keep going. We'll have chances." The Blues were four points clear at the top of the table after their 4-2 win at Tottenham on 21 October, but they have lost their form and also their manger since then. Roberto Di Matteo did not win another league game since then and was sacked after the Champions League defeat at Juventus on 20 November.

With two 0-0 draws in Benitez's first two matches Chelsea now find themselves behind both Manchester United and defending champions Manchester City, who are six points ahead in second. "Remember last season when City were ahead and it was 'easy'," Benitez added. "Then they needed to win their last game. It's a long, long competition."

Chelsea star striker Fernando Torres, who signed for a club record fee of £50m in January 2011, has not scored in more than 10 hours of Premier League football. But manager Rafael Benitez insisted that a change in approach will get his team scoring, not a change of the line up. "I saw a lot of positive things, sustaining the attacks and regaining the ball very high," Benitez said. "I didn't like the two chances we gave away on the counter-attack, and when we didn't move the ball too quickly, but it's a question of time. We have to link with our attacking players and we have to do it quicker. If you give the defenders time to reorganise it is always harder, even with the players we have. The shape of the team is OK, but we have to play with a little bit more tempo and quicker for the players that we have up front."

Chelsea's next game is on December 1st when they face West Ham away. Here are the odds from Bet365:

West Ham win - 7/2
Draw - 5/2
Chelsea win - 5/6

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