Chelsea will pull four points clear of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League if they beat Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday.
United’s 0-0 draw at Blackburn Rovers on Sunday left them a point behind having played a game more, while Chelsea were involved in FA Cup action, beating Aston Villa to reach the final.
“We are playing well, the confidence is high. We have let the lead in the league slip once and we are determined not to let it slip again,” said Chelsea captain John Terry.
“It is three years since we won the Premier League and we are really determined to get it back to the Bridge.
“We have seen the team working hard in the last four or five weeks and that is the key. The quality has always been there and always will be in the top four or five teams in the Premier League but if we can work hard, win our tackles and do the basics very well then we should be ok.
“If we can win our games there is nothing anybody else can do,” Terry said.
Meanwhile, Bolton manager Owen Coyle dismissed suggestions from United boss Sir Alex Ferguson that Bolton would be “easy” opposition for Chelsea.
“That’s up to him,” Coyle said. “That’s his opinion, he has it and he’s given it — all very well. I’ll concentrate on what we can do and not what anyone else says.” His side lie five points clear of the relegation zone.
Victory for Chelsea would take them six points clear of Arsenal, who travel to north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.
“Tottenham are playing for a Champions League place and it will be a very tough game,” said Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia.
“No matter when we play or what we are fighting for, a derby match is special. Everybody has played at Tottenham’s stadium and we won’t be surprised by the hostility. We have played against them many times, so we know their football and support.” A win for Spurs would lift them a point behind Manchester City in the race for fourth.
Wigan Athletic, who have slipped to fourth bottom, above the danger zone, are home to relegated Portsmouth, while Aston Villa host Everton.