Wednesday 3rd December – 19:45 – Stamford Bridge
Chelsea welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night as they look to maintain their unbeaten season. The Blues haven’t lost in 20 matches in all competitions this season and are looking increasingly difficult to beat. They were held by Sunderland at the weekend in a 0-0 draw, but boast a superb record against Spurs at home, having not lost to their London rivals at Stamford Bridge since 1990. Mauricio Pochettino’s men come off the back of a trio of wins in a week after they beat Hull and Everton either side of a 1-0 victory over Partizan Belgrade, which confirmed their place in the knockout stage of the Europa League. Breaking their Stamford Bridge curse would mean winning three league games in a row for the first time this season. They currently sit seventh in the Premier League table, two points off the top for and 13 off the first-placed Blues. With their title rivals playing at the same time on the same night, Jose Mourinho’s side will want to keep, or perhaps even extend their lead at the top.
The Key Battle: Cesc Fabregas vs Christian Eriksen
Two of the division’s best midfielders this season will go head to head tonight in what will be a tense battle.
Despite having the most assists in the league (10), Cesc Fabregas plays more of a holding role for Chelsea, allowing the likes of Eden Hazard and Oscar to attack more.
He has formed a strong partnership with Nemanja Matic, which has helped the Blues keeping things tight at the other end as well. As a former Arsenal player, the Spaniard should be really up for this game.
Christian Eriksen won’t be easy opposition though, with two goals and one assist in his last two league games. He has been the one that has kept Tottenham afloat in a worrying time for fans.
Only Yaya Toure (14) and Steven Gerrard (12) have scored more Premier League goals from midfield in 2014 than the Danishman (11). Don’t bet against him scoring again…
- Chelsea are without the suspended Diego Costa after the striker picked up a fifth booking in the draw at Sunderland.
- That means that Loic Remy and Didier Drogba are in contention to start upfront – the pair have five goals between them in a combined total of 16 games. That’s less than Costa on his own.
- Nathan Ake (hamstring) missed the trip to the Stadium of Light and is unlikely to be included, but Jose Mourinho has no fresh concerns ahead of Wednesday’s clash.
- Whilst Chelsea have a player banned, Spurs welcome back a player from suspension – Kyle Naughton is available again following his two game enforced absence.
- Their other full-back called Kyle, Walker, continued his recovery from abdominal surgery by playing for the Under-21s against Manchester City on Monday night.
- Emmanuel Adebayor, who has been suffering from a virus and back problem, is among several players who’s fitness will be assessed, with Etienne Capoue and Danny Rose also concerns with knocks.
Chelsea wins = 60 / Tottenham wins = 45 / Draws = 36
Last Meeting: Chelsea 4-0 Tottenham (8th March 2014)
Chelsea moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier League after sinking Tottenham with four second-half goals. There was little in the game until Jan Vertonghen’s error let Samuel Eto’o in to fire the Blues ahead. Younes Kaboul was sent off for fouling Eto’o soon afterwards, and Eden Hazard slotted home the resulting penalty. Demba Ba made it 3-0 late on following a slip by Sandro, then completed the scoring when he latched on to Kyle Walker’s disastrous back-header. Yet it shows what a topsy turvy title race it was last season as just over a few months later, Chelsea were finishing third in the league – four points off the top.
Stat of the Match
Roberto Soldado ended a run of 627 minutes without a league goal against Everton on Sunday.
Where can I watch it?
The game isn’t actually being shown live on TV, but if you are keen to follow the match as it happens there are plenty of radio commentaries or live streams available. Alternatively, at 10:35pm on Wednesday night, BBC One’s Match of the Day will be showing the highlights.
My Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham
It all depends whether Chelsea bring their A-game to this midweek fixture. If they were saving themselves against Sunderland at the weekend, we could well be in for a demolition, despite Spurs’ good form. I don’t quite think it will be a thrashing, but the Blues should win comfortably with goals from Eden Hazard and Oscar.