Blog: Tough trips for Phil

Chelsea’s 2-0 victory at Bolton on Saturday saw the Blues claim the record for the most consecutive away wins (11) in the top flight.

But further analysis of the statistic shows this: most of Chelsea’s 11 victories were against sides generally found in the lower half of the table, the exceptions being Everton and Manchester City (twice). Bolton, West Brom, Blackburn, Hull, Middlesbrough, Stoke, Wigan and Newcastle complete the list of consecutive away wins for the London club.

That means visits to Everton, Aston Villa, Portsmouth, United, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham still await Luis Felipe Scolari’s side. League leaders Liverpool also have trips to Everton, United and Portsmouth still looming.

Meanwhile, lying in ambush at third in the table, is a United team that has already played most of the top sides away this season. Not only Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal; also Portsmouth, Everton, Man City and Villa.

So while Chelsea have managed an impressive away record over the last six months, it is United who are poised quite dangerously to mount a charge to the summit come the New Year. A harsh first half of the season is almost behind the Reds, here’s to the second.