The international break is, for many managers, a fitness-sapping, momentum-disrupting hindrance on their schemes for success, but for elite Premier League outfits, it’s only Jose Mourinho who should be so resentful of it.
Those hoping to reign in top-tier pacesetters Chelsea should be glad of the autumnal hiatus, as the Blues have fared dreadfully when their stars have returned from national service in recent seasons.
At present, the west Londoners stand at 53/100 to be crowned champions, but for those deliberating a dabble on these odds, hang fire to see if their position is so prominent in a few weeks time, for their exploits in years gone by suggests it won’t.
The only points they’ve dropped this season, a 1-1 draw with Schalke in the Champions League and a domestic clash with Manchester City that produced the same scoreline, were games two and three after the September gap in the fixture list.
They won the first one back, beating Swansea 4-2, but they were nowhere near as convincing in this match as they have been this season.
It’s the form from campaigns past that is what is of real concern for Chelsea fans though.
Last time around they were bested in their first two outings to follow the September stoppage, while their attempts to rebuild a head of steam after the November break was curtailed by defeat at Basle.
The findings from 2012/13 make for even grimmer reading.
Chelsea drew both matches that followed the first break of the season, then after stomping Tottenham 4-2 after the October pause, they went on a four-match run without a win.
Not having their finest assets at training the week England lost 4-2 in Sweden was even more costly in the next month.
After the Three Lions’ defeat in Scandinavia, the Blues lost three and drew two of their next five, scoring just two goals and were ejected from the Champions League in the group stage.
They were unable to win three of four at this stage the year before, while they won two of six after the 2011 October down time.
These statistics conspire to increase the allure of Crystal Palace to repeat their heroics of last term and justify odds of 7/1 to beat Chelsea when they visit Selhurst Park next weekend.