Road warriors

Chelsea could match a long-standing club record when we resume our Premier League campaign this weekend with a short trip to south London to face Crystal Palace.

Since defeat at Manchester United in mid-April, the Blues have been a formidable force on the road, reeling off six consecutive wins in all competitions.

That impressive run began with a hugely important 3-0 win at Everton on 30 April, followed by the memorable 1-0 victory at West Bromwich Albion on 12 May in our final away match of the 2016/17 season, which clinched the Premier League title.

The Blues continued right where we left off when the new campaign got under way in August, winning 2-1 at Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City, before a hat-trick by Alvaro Morata sealed a 4-0 victory at Stoke City.

Michy Batshuayi’s last-gasp winner at Atletico Madrid then made it six away wins in a row, a mark we have achieved on six previous occasions as a top-flight club in 2004/05 (twice), 2005/06, 2006/07 (twice), and 2012/13.

That is still one short of our all-time record of seven straight away victories, set in 1989 during our last spell in the Second Division. All of the wins in that streak came in league games, beginning with a 7-0 thrashing of bottom side Walsall on 4 February. It also included victories at Plymouth, Brighton, Manchester City, Sunderland and Ipswich before a 3-2 win at West Bromwich Albion on 8 April, which put us within touching distance of the Second Division title and a return to the top flight.

Without implying any disrespect for the teams that we beat during that winning streak in 1989, the quality of opponents that the Blues have faced during this current run have been much stronger.

For example, Everton had been on a run of seven straight victories at Goodison Park before our 3-0 win there. Stoke had beaten Arsenal and drawn with Manchester United in their previous home games before our 4-0 victory, and Atletico were unbeaten in 11 home games in the Champions League and had never lost at their own stadium against an English team before our dramatic triumph at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Selhurst Park has been a good hunting ground for the Blues in recent years with wins in six of our last seven matches against Palace at their south London home. Another on Saturday would see our current side join their predecessors from 1988/89 side in the club’s record books and set up the possibility of breaking the old mark when we visit Bournemouth later this month.