Should Chelsea beat Arsenal this Sunday, a feat they’re priced at 21/10 to achieve, they’ll need only to win at Leicester three days later to be crowned Premier League champions.
But their prospects of toppling the Gunners have been hindered by a chronic striker shortage, with Diego Costa and Loic Remy definitely out of the Emirates sojourn, while Didier Drogba’s participation is the subject of extreme doubt.
Despite this obvious problem, the Blues’ potential for success shouldn’t be questioned for two reasons.
The first is that Jose Mourinho never loses against the north London outfit.
Not once in 12 tussles with Arsene Wenger’s men has the Special One tasted defeat, while Arsenal haven’t bested their billionaire capital city brethren since a 5-3 Stamford Bridge reverse in 2011.
Secondly, their supposed striker crisis isn’t all it’s being made out to be, with a raft of talented teenagers in their youth ranks capable of troubling the Gunners’ forever-questionable defence.
The front three of the junior Blues team that recorded a 3-1 FA Youth Cup final first-leg win over Manchester City all fit the physical and technical bill to deputise for the sidelined mainstays.
Dominic Solanke, scorer of 35 goals for Chelsea Under-21 and Under-18 sides this season, spearheaded the attack and is believed to be in the running with Eden Hazard to take a central berth against Arsenal.
He made his debut for the senior side in this season’s 6-0 destruction of Maribor in the Champions League having top scored in the UEFA Youth League group-stage.
Standing at six-foot-one, the 17-year-old sharpshooter is just one imposing prong of a particularly rangy and quick Chelsea attack.
Izzy Brown is another sizeable frontman who could replace sick bay-bound Drogba.
Before Chelsea exercised legislation loopholes to sign the 18-year-old for a fraction of his true worth, Brown played for West Brom, where he became the second-youngest Premier League player of all time in a four-minute cameo against Wigan during the 2012/13 campaign.
He’s lauded for his versatility, lightning-pace and creative prowess.
Tammy Abraham completes the trio of potential prodigies who could grace the Emirates this weekend.
The Camberwell-born speedster bagged a brace in the aforementioned Youth Cup final win; the first a rocket into the top corner, the second an overhead kick.
He does the bulk of his goal-getting from the wide positions, but has been known to play central, scoring a staggering 24 goals across 33 appearances in the previous two seasons.