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Chelsea title bid backed by winning run

22 Nov 2016
Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea

Six-match streak without conceding for Conte's side is the form of champions, history has shown

Chelsea's defensive solidity represents a major boost for their title aspirations as their latest victory has placed them in the all-time top five of clubs to have kept consecutive clean sheets in a Premier League season.

The 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough on Sunday took to six the consecutive shutouts Antonio Conte’s side have managed, a return bettered only by four clubs in the history of the PL.

Of the 10 previous times clubs have won six matches in a row without conceding, Chelsea have featured on five occasions.

David Luiz, Chelsea
Only two teams have achieved six straight top-flight matches without conceding a goal in the same season and failed to go on to win the PL title

Only two teams to have achieved the feat within the same season have failed to go on to lift the Premier League Trophy.

Liverpool went eight matches without their defence being breached in 2005/06 before finishing third to Jose Mourinho's Chelsea. The west Londoners followed suit the following season, only to finish runners-up to Manchester United.

United have achieved the longest winning run without letting in a goal, keeping nine clean sheets en route to the 2008/09 title, while Chelsea won eight matches in a row without conceding in 2004/05, then six the season after as they secured back-to-back titles.

Petr Cech, Chelsea
Goakeeper Petr Cech twice kept eight successive Premier League clean sheets for Chelsea in 2004/05 and 2006/07

Most matches won without conceding in a single PL season

Team Matches Date of last match Final pos.
Man Utd 9 18/02/09 1
Chelsea 8 02/02/05 1
Chelsea 8 07/04/07 2
Liverpool 8 26/12/05 3
Chelsea 6 20/11/16 ?
Chelsea 6 17/09/05 1
Man Utd 6 06/10/07 1
Man Utd 6 30/03/13 1

Thibaut Courtois will have his work cut out if he is to match Edwin van der Sar’s seven-year record as he will need to frustrate the attacks of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion to reach the nine-match mark.

A trip to the Stadium of Light would set the scene for a potential record 10th straight shutout.

Thibaut Courtois, Antonio Conte, Chelsea
Antonio Conte has selected the same starting XI for five consecutive league fixtures

Conte has achieved this defensive stability by making a tactical switch to a 3-4-3 formation and selecting the same starting XI for five consecutive league fixtures, the first time Chelsea have done so since 1990.

The Blues' defence will be confident of running Man Utd's record close considering the infrequency with which their goal has been threatened.

When Courtois saved from Alvaro Negredo in the 78th minute of the 1-0 win at Boro, it was the first time in 228 minutes of PL football that Chelsea had conceded a shot on target.

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