Set-piece specialists to have final word
Why Willian is a solitary bright spark in a troubled season for the Blues
Chelsea can finally give their fans something to cheers about tonight by sealing Tottenham’s fate. Only a win will be good enough to keep Spurs’ slim title hopes alive, so you can rest assured that the home side will be well and truly up for this one. They may be languishing in 10th spot in the English Premier League table but a win tonight will go some way to easing the pain in a season to forget.
Fantasy football managers who persevered with the likes of Eden Hazard will not have had much joy this season. However, one Chelsea player has stood out – Willian. The Brazilian has become a pivotal figure in Chelsea’s set-piece routines and only two players in the whole league – Dimitri Payet and Mesut Özil have taken more corner-kicks than him. Payet may have established himself as Europe’s best free-kick taker but Willian has also proved to be no slouch himself when given the chance, providing a real threat in final third situations.
Willian has provided 5 assists and 5 Premier League goals during the course of the 2015/16 season but that pales into insignificance against the exploits of one of tonight’s adversaries – Christian Eriksen.
The Dane sits one place behind Willian, in 4th, on the list of most corner kicks taken but his imperious near-post deliveries have been meat and drink for Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld in particular. But there is even more, as the Oulala infographic above clearly indicates. The Tottenham midfielder is out-performing Willian in a number of key areas and has played his part in the Lilywhites title bid.
Tonight’s encounter at Stamford Bridge promises to be tense – one moment of magic from Willian or Eriksen might just settle it!