Former Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins believes that Chelsea will not finish in the top four this year, despite the belief from their interim manager Guus Hiddink.
The Blues recorded their first win of Hiddink's second spell with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park with Oscar, Willian and Diego Costa finding the net for the reigning champions.
It has been a dreadful start to the season for the side - which saw the departure of Jose Mourinho as a result - with the side in 14 place.
Wilkins disagreed as he told TalkSport: "I don't think it is possible, personally.
"I think somewhere along the line there will come the odd defeat.
"But they have been playing with a little bit more of a spirit - you could see that yesterday - and when they are firing they are one football team."
There is little doubting the individual quality the side possesses. After all, the vast majority of the players in the squad are those who helped the side to the league title last season, which has made the collapse in form during the first half of this season all the more staggering.
It would take an equally staggering upturn in form in order to close a 13 point gap to a group of sides that are actually going along quite nicely, even if there is the odd slip-up here and there. It's hard to believe that Chelsea can get into the top four without a near perfect finish to the season, and as Wilkins says, the chances are there will be the odd defeat along the way, regardless of improvement.