How confident are you ahead of the next crucial stretch of matches for Chelsea?

It is written. - Harold Cunningham

You know where you hope this train will take you. But you can't know for sure.

Champions League: gone; Premier League: gone; FA Cup: gone; League Cup: gone; World Club Cup: gone; Super Cup: gone; Community Shield: gone.

Now Chelsea have seven matches left to salvage this season. Six of the seven actually have a time and a date associated with them, while a crucial home tie versus Tottenham Hotspur is currently in schedule limbo. At some point the top will stop spinning though and Leo will remind us to be young men again and they'll find a spot for that one, too.

Ignoring that last academic bit for now, I'm of the notion that the next four Premier League matches - none of which should get moved around for any reason - will define what's left of this season. I specified Premier League because the Europa League really matters not one bit at this point. To put it mildly, winning the Europa Whatever yet missing out on a top four spot would constitute abject failure.

So, four matches, three of which are away. That last word should strike fear into your heart as Chelsea have struggled mightily away from Stamford Bridge. In the league, they've lost three in a row (Newcastle, Manchester City, Southampton), matching last season's futility right around springtime as well that helped send a certain Andre Villas-Boas on his merry way. Chelsea haven't lost four in a row away in over a decade, the last such streak coming at the start of the 2000-01 season when Claudio Ranieri opened his Chelsea tenure rather ingloriously. And no, it doesn't get any better if you take all competitions into account: just two wins away from the Bridge in the last three months - that's eleven away or neutral ground fixtures, four draws, five losses.

Yes, you should be afraid.

The three away ties then are, in order: Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester United. With a strong team, that's maybe one guaranteed victory. With an inconsistent and head-scratching team such as this edition, that's perhaps three losses. There's a home matchup with Swansea City in-between the Anfield and Old Trafford trips, but let's assume that'll net the Blues three points because my wallet cannot handle the alternative.

So, four matches, twelve points up for grabs. What I'd like to know is how many of those twelve do you think Chelsea will collect and whether that will be enough to at least keep them in contention for Champions League spots. So it's sort of a confidence / magic eight ball / fortune teller deal, but I'm curious to see where the community's sentiments lie at the moment.

For the record, in addition to the unscheduled Spurs match, the other ties left are Aston Villa away (if that's not a win, we might as well just go home) and Everton at home on the Day of Days, the 19th of May.

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