Mar 6, 2017 08:51:25
The Blues face West Ham aiming to restore their 10-point lead at the top of the table in their quest to be champions again
Nemanja Matic thinks Chelsea hold an advantage in this season's Premier League title race due to their past experience of being crowned champions.
Chelsea won the league in 2015 under Jose Mourinho and are seven points clear of nearest challengers Tottenham going into Monday's away match against West Ham.
Matic thinks that will help Chelsea as they bid to hold off the likes of Spurs, Manchester City and Liverpool to win their sixth top-flight title.
"We have more experience now from that season when we were champions," he said to Sky Sports.
"The experience of 2015 does help. We know to be champions you have to play every game like it is your last.
"You have to give your best because you can drop any points at any time in the Premier League. We will try our best to win games."
Some great goals scored in training this week! pic.twitter.com/P3wbVwcxHu
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 5, 2017
But midfielder Matic stressed Chelsea's final 12 matches will not be straightforward and sympathised with how hard defending champions Leicester City have found this season after his own side struggled with that status in 2015-16.
The 28-year-old continued: "As you can see from our last game against Swansea, we were much better and played good football but they scored from the one chance they got. It was 1-1 and it was hard until the end.
"I know how Leicester feel. Last season, everything was going well and this season is completely different.
"Also, their opponents have more motivation to show they can win against the champions – it is very hard for them. It is harder to play when you are champions."
Antonio Conte's men have only lost three times in in 26 league matches this season, but did suffer defeat by West Ham in the EFL Cup last October on their first visit to London Stadium.