Irish echo logo 750x550

Can Chelsea still challenge for the Premier League title despite their latest setback?

Chelsea FC seemed to have been having a better time of things recently in the Premier League than earlier in the season before their defeat to QPR this week.

They were third in the table with 38 points following Sunday's 1-2 win over Everton, but are now fourth with 38 points. Chelsea had won four Premier League games in a row prior to the loss.

However despite this setback, could they still possibly challenge for the Premier League title?

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

Chelsea had seemed to be improving. Despite the upset of Chelsea fans over the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo and appointment of Rafa Benítez, their interim manager seems to have had a positive effect.

Roberto Di Matteo had won just one game in a run of eight. Could the managerial change help Chelsea have more of a chance to win the Premier League season? Chelsea seem to have benefited from Rafa Benítez changing their set-up. Roberto Di Matteo had the team playing a narrow 4-2-3-1, which meant Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata were crowding Fernando Torres' area.

However, it seems that Rafa Benítez has been playing Eden Hazard, Victor Moses and Oscar in wider positions. The statistics seem to give evidence that this new set-up may be working despite the match on Wednesday.

Has this change also improved Fernando Torres?

The £50 million signing notoriously struggled with goal scoring after he joined Chelsea. He scored just one Premier League goal in his first season with Chelsea, and just six Premier League goals last season.

However, so far this season, he has scored seven Premier League goals.

I wrote a piece after the appointment of Rafa Benítez focusing around whether he could bring the best out if Fernando Torres. While things are still not going perfectly for Fernando Torres, he did not give his best performance ever against QPR, he does seem to have improved since the arrival of Rafa Benítez. They could also benefit from their signing of Demba Ba from Newcastle, who has scored 13 goals so far this season.

So, a sign that Chelsea could still challenge for the Premier League title despite their latest setback is that Chelsea's goal scoring potential seems to be improving, one factor being Juan Mata scoring many goals.

Another reason why Chelsea could still challenge for the Premier League title is that they have a game in hand. However, they are 14 points behind Manchester United, is it too much of a difference in points to make up?

Furthermore, they face some potentially daunting fixtures towards the end of the campaign, including the current Premier League leaders Manchester United, and other teams including Tottenham, Swansea and Liverpool. However, we do not know what position they will be in by then for certain.

Chelsea have been having good Premier League results, despite the loss on Wednesday. They are in contention for the Premier League title. However, can they really manage to get higher up the Premier League table after the defeat to QPR?