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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Willian could make a big contribution to the Chelsea cause

Five things we learned

Willian is still a big asset for Chelsea
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1 Willian deserves some love from Chelsea
Chelsea's 4-0 FA Cup win over Hull on Friday was as comfortable as expected but while Antonio Conte took the chance to blood some of his young players, it was a more experienced bit-part performer who caught the eye.

Willian scored twice and even though his ability to change games is not on the same level as the Blues' main playmaker Eden Hazard, surely the Brazilian has plenty to contribute as Chelsea look to secure a top-four spot.

He has completed just five Premier League games this season and his only Champions League appearances came in the romps against Qarabag.

However, he showed on Friday he still has a lot to offer in a creative capacity and perhaps he should be given more opportunities in the next few months.

Big guns kept apart in FA Cup quarter-final draw

2 Expect Millwall's rise to continue
Millwall are a Sky Bet Championship team moving in the right direction.

Neil Harris's Lions have suffered just one defeat since Boxing Day and their 1-0 win at Birmingham on Saturday was their third successive victory on the road after triumphs at Reading and Leeds.

They appear to have too much ground to make up on the top six to make the playoffs but while five of their final six matches are against teams in the top ten, they face teams who are 16th or lower in six of their next eight games so there is scope for further improvement. 

3 There is no light at the end of the tunnel for Sunderland
Any hope that last week's recovery from three goals down to earn a point at Bristol City would galvanise Sunderland was quickly extinguished as the Black Cats were brushed aside by Brentford at the Stadium of Light.

Chris Coleman has a team who concede goals too easily and they have scored more than once in just seven league games this season.

They are three points from safety but it is difficult not to conclude that they have given up the ghost.

4 Dan Micciche has his work cut out at MK Dons
MK Dons are in massive trouble in Sky Bet League One after five successive defeats, the latest of which came at home to Charlton on Saturday.

Former Dons academy supremo Dan Micciche has been charged with digging them out of trouble after the departure of Robbie Neilson last month and he told the press after the weekend defeat that any player who did not think they could stay up would be training with the youth team.

The former England Under-16 boss has enough on his plate making the difficult transition from taking charge of young players and gaining the respect of established professionals without making comments like that.

It would not take long for the pros to make it clear that if anyone should be training with the youth team, it should be the manager.

5 Mansfield face a massive month
The Stags have given themselves a great chance of gaining automatic promotion from Sky Bet League Two after their win at eighth-placed Exeter left them three points off the pace.

But this is where the hard work starts as five of their next seven games are against top-half sides, culminating in a trip to leaders Luton on April 2.

If they are still in the mix after that run and striker Danny Rose is still in red-hot form, they should be confident as four of their final five matches are against teams in the bottom eight.

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MK Dons are in massive trouble in Sky Bet League One after five successive defeats
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