Why Rafael Benitez is wrong to be optimistic

A few days ago, Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez declared that his team can win this season’s Premier League despite being 13 points behind leaders Manchester United. The improvement Chelsea needed to make from last season’s 64 points made their chances of lifting the title before the season started remote and nothing has changed.

The reality is that Chelsea needed to improve their 2011/2012 points total by at least 21 this season to have any chance of lifting the Premier League trophy. The last nine Premier League titles have all been won by clubs getting 85 points or more and there is no reason to think that this season will need fewer points than that, particularly as a total of 85 would be four fewer than last season as it is. Such a turnaround in points has not happened at all in the Premier League era. The last title winners to increase their points total by so many was Arsenal in 1990/1991 (+21).

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