Armed with surgical tape and a boatload of gauze, Guus Hiddink continues to thrive in his role as the patch-up man at Chelsea.
The Dutchman remains undefeated in domestic football since returning to Stamford Bridge to repair the enormous amount of damage done by Jose Mourinho earlier this season.
Having masterminded the Blues’ 2-1 win at Southampton last weekend, Hiddink’s record in 2015/16 improved to seven wins and six draws from his 13 non-European games in charge of Chelsea.
With the club still in contention to win the FA Cup and Champions League, they weren’t short of potential avenues to continental football next season, but now qualifying through the league appears a distinct possibility too.
Manchester City’s opening up of another Europa League place courtesy of their Capital One Cup final win over Liverpool further enhanced the prospect, rendering the 5/2 about the west Londoners finishing sixth or higher an excellent bet.
Their two toughest-looking league fixtures – Manchester City and Tottenham – are both at home and even with a desperate shortage of centre-backs at present, their good form has shown few signs of abating.
On top of this splendid management of a mini injury crisis, key men – namely Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas – have made their long-awaited return to their highest standard in time to sustain this push into the Premier League’s upper echelons.
Inconsistency has hindered those rated shorter than them to finish in the top six – Manchester United and Liverpool – throughout this season, while they need to only close a gap of seven points between now and May to secure a spot.
If their current form can be maintained, it’s a certainty.