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Premier League: Are Chelsea turning a corner?

Chelsea eased the pressure on Mauricio Pochettino on Monday night as they moved to within seven points of the top six thanks to their 2-0 success over Fulham.

The Blues were under pressure as they made the short trip across the capital to Craven Cottage, and they responded with Mykhailo Mudryk scoring his first goal for the club.

Armando Broja also found the back of the net as he bids to put his injury problems behind him, and the Blues board will hope it is the start of a bright spell under Pochettino.

Pochettino rewarded for his patience

After so many changes at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea were always going to be up against it as they try to rediscover their best form.

Last year was a season to forget under coaches Graham Potter and Frank Lampard, with the board putting their faith in Pochettino this summer.

Owner Todd Boehly wasted no time in splashing the cash, with the Blues spending over £400m trying to improve their ranks further.

The likes of Moises Caicedo, Romeo Lavia, Christopher Nkunku, Cole Palmer, Axel Disasi, Nicolas Jackson, Lesley Ugochukwu and Robert Sanchez all joined the club, although their arrivals have not made an immediate impact.

The Blues started the season with a 1-1 draw against Liverpool, which many classed as a positive result. 

After losing 3-1 to West Ham, they beat Luton 3-0 and were expected to push on from there.

Sadly, three Premier League matches without a win increased the pressure on Pochettino, who has not been helped by an extensive injury list.

With Nkunku on the sidelines, Chelsea have struggled in the final third, although the return of Broja could at least bring the best out of Jackson, who has missed numerous chances at pivotal moments for the Blues.

Pochettino's decision to stand by Mudryk was finally vindicated on Monday, and even though a top-four push looks unlikely, the former Spurs boss may finally get some time to try and work his magic.

Chelsea are 5/1 to finish in the top four, although a top-six finish looks more realistic at 7/4.

No time to get complacent in the capital

While Monday's performance was dominant and assured, a lot of that was down to Fulham's lack of quality in the final third.

Still, Chelsea fans need to take this as a positive and build on it, although their ongoing injury problems are not going to help Pochettino's future plans.

Chelsea have already confirmed left-back Ben Chilwell will miss at least eight weeks of action due to a hamstring injury, and he may not return until the start of 2024.

Pochettino had 12 first-team players unavailable on Monday, including Jackson and defender Malo Gusto, who continued to serve their suspensions.

After their summer spending spree, there will be little sympathy from rival clubs, but Pochettino and his staff cannot build any consistency with a squad that continues to suffer injuries.

Thankfully for the Argentinean, he has managed to improve Mudryk's form, while Broja's return will help him manage the increased workload, with Chelsea still in the EFL Cup.

Jury still out due to upcoming schedule

Chelsea may have won back-to-back games for only the second time this season, but they need to do more before their fans can genuinely feel that they have improved.

While their clash with Burnley will give them another strong chance of winning, their fixtures in the coming weeks could bring them back down to earth.

They have to face Arsenal before the end of October, while in November, they take on Tottenham, Manchester City and Newcastle United.

After that, they welcome Brighton to Stamford Bridge before travelling to Old Trafford in December.

If Chelsea's injury woes improve before that, who knows what Pochettino and his squad can do. 

However, their only wins this season in the league have come against Luton and Fulham, two sides that will likely be at the wrong end of the table.

Odds of 9/2 for Chelsea to finish in the bottom half of the table suggest they will eventually find their feet and potentially compete for Europe, but Pochettino may need a full season under his belt before he can start to really get the best out of his squad.

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