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Premier League weekend preview

Five Aside
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Benitez: Busy schedule a positive

Rafael Benitez has insisted Chelsea's fixture congestion is a good thing, because it means the club is making progress.

• Blog: Chelsea's keeping quandary

The Stamford Bridge side face five games in 13 days, starting with a trip to Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday and then an FA Cup quarter-final replay against Manchester United just two days later.

"It is better to have this problem than be at home watching it on the telly," Benitez joked. "It is better to have this schedule because it means you are still competing.

"With a top side, the last month in the season is when you fight for trophies. We are still there and it is a positive.

"At this stage of the competition, you have to win [games] and then you can win trophies. It has to be now, in this period."

Benitez also said that second place is not out of sight yet, with Chelsea five points behind Manchester City.

He said: "I think that I would like to see if [we] can reduce the gap or think like this, but I'm sure they will be concerned like we are concerned about Tottenham, Arsenal, Everton.

"It's just to know where they are, but the main thing is you are a team. If you can do things in the way that we were doing before.

"The last week we were training very well and we were competing really well and the team was playing very good football, so if you can keep all these things and this momentum, I will not be worried about the other teams. I will be just watching Manchester City."

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