A good time to play Chelsea?

06 Dec 2012 08:44am, by YorkshireSquare

Even before the news on the takeover and our recent upturn in form I thought that this could be a good time to play Chelsea. Over the past few seasons we have put in some great performances against the supposed Premiership big clubs. It all started with a very creditable performance against Liverpool in the League Cup in 2009 followed by the unforgettable victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the FA Cup third round. That Jermaine Beckford goal has gone down in Leeds United folklore. Tottenham and Arsenal also experienced scares and we never appear phased when lining up against one of the big teams, after all it is our rightful place.

Already this season we have stunned Everton and seen off Southampton with ease to earn a tasty quarter-final draw against Chelsea at Elland Road. It seemed, as has been the case in previous seasons, that our cup form defied our league form. The last two weeks has however seen a change in our fortunes in the league with wins over top three Crystal Palace and Leicester and a good victory over our local ‘rivals’ Huddersfield Town. There is an air of positivity around the club, a new found optimism - who knows where it could take us. Promotion? A League Cup semi-final?

Chelsea on the other hand having reached the summit of European football have not had an easy time of things. First of all was the John Terry racism incident with Terry receiving a four game ban having been found guilty by the FA. The London club’s attempts to claim that there were no issues with racism were not helped by one of their fans being caught on TV making a 'monkey' gesture towards Danny Welbeck. To make matters worse and drag the image of Chelsea further through the mud we had the whole Mark Clattenberg debacle. A Chinese whispers style incident led to what now appear to be unfounded accusations being made against one of the country’s best referees. Mikel has also been charged by the FA for his behaviour following that incident.

The same day that the news of Leeds United’s takeover broke Chelsea sacked manager Roberto Di Matteo. Di Matteo signed a two year deal following success in last year’s Champions League final but results both at home and in Europe have not gone their way this season. Many assumed they had a high profile manager lined up as replacement with names such as Guardiola mentioned only to find old nemesis Rafael Benitez appointed as interim manager. A move not unlike Dave Jones being appointed Leeds manager it’s fair to say Chelsea fans are not pleased. Results have not improved either with a nil nil draw against Fulham and defeat to West Ham. Check out all Chelsea's latest scores at www.footballscores.com results. Chelsea find themselves 10 points off the pace in the Premiership without a victory in seven.

Another downside to last year’s European success for Chelsea is that they play in this year’s FIFA Club World Cup. This year’s tournament takes place in Japan with Chelsea scheduled to play in Yokohama on the 13th of December and again on the 16th December either in the final or the third place match. This match is only three days before they are due to face us in the League Cup semi-final and they are likely to be fatigued from their trip. Given their recent league form and last night’s exit from the Champions League (despite an impressive result) it is likely they will focus on their league match with Aston Villa the following Sunday.

So is it a good time to play Chelsea? It will certainly be a stern test but who knows, they might just have their minds on other things.