What's left for Chelsea and Jose Mourinho in 2013?

The man now known as 'the happy one' is back at Stamford Bridge and has his side right in the title race. Who stands in their way before the new year?

Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea has been solid rather than spectacular but they have a fantastic chance of winning more trophies this season.

They sit four points behind leaders Arsenal in the Premier League and are three points clear at the top of their Champions League group. As well as that, they are in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup. Not a bad position for a side who are yet to hit top gear.

So what remains in 2013 that can have a major impact on their season. Here's their remaining key fixtures out of the eleven they have left this year.

West Ham United (A) 23rd November - The Blues suffered a 3-1 defeat at Upton Park last season under Rafael Benitez and Mourinho certainly won't want to face the same fate. A London derby is always a special occasion and Chelsea will be looking to come away from East London with three vital points.

Basel (A) 26th November - It's straight off to Switzerland after the game against the Hammers and revenge will be on Mourinho and his players' minds. They suffered a 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge in the reverse fixture and will be looking to pick up the three points that will see them qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

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Sunderland (A) 17th December - The Stadium of Light plays host to a league fixture between the sides ten days earlier but this Capital One Cup quarter-final is of crucial importance to Chelsea and Mourinho. He'll be looking to win the first piece of silverware available and add to the two league cups he'd won in his previous spell in West London, so they'll need to get past former Chelsea player Gus Poyet's Black Cats.

Arsenal (A) 23rd December - With Mourinho's side playing so many games in such a short space of time then he'll need to rotate his squad to good effect. Picking the right side for the trip to the Emirates will be crucial as they look to pick up three vital points in the title race before Christmas.

Liverpool (H) 29th December - Their final game of 2013 is a home clash to another team hunting for the title in Brendan Rodgers's Liverpool. The Reds have a fantastic recent record at the Bridge, picking up seven points from a possible nine in the previous three visits so this won't be an easy end to the year for Mourinho and company.


image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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