This week both teams travelled away to Azerbaijan and Israel respectively, racking up a number of air miles. Spurs’ trip to Qarabag FK saw them take an almost 5000 mile round trip, about eleven and a half hours of flight time alone. Chelsea has a very similar trip to Maccabi Tel Aviv, traveling roughly 4500 miles and endured just over eleven hours on a plane. Fortunately, both teams won the game so the trip was worthwhile and Spurs have qualified for the next round in the Europa League. Chelsea will need to beat Porto on the final match day to ensure their passage into the knockout stage.
This fixture last season saw the blue half of West London suffer their first heavy defeat of what turned out to be a successful season. With Harry Kane in such form as he was in that 5-3 victory, the bookies such as judi online are not showing much in the way of confidence in Chelsea.
In the league last week, Chelsea managed to beat Norwich 1-0 which was not the most convincing performance by the champions but a win is a win and it was very much needed. The Blues have also had two extra days of recovery than Tottenham and will be raring to go against their old rivals. Spurs face a tougher test with fatigue. The players will have a lot less rest and Pocchetino will need to monitor their recovery so as to make sure he does not get any injuries to key players.
Jose Mourinho will be hoping that his Chelsea side have finally turned a corner after back to back victories against Norwich City and Maccabi Tel Aviv. Mourinho would be like a gambling man looking for uk casino bonuses if he dared approach the game in the same way he did the last. Tottenham pressed Chelsea all over the pitch and they used the off the ball running of Christian Eriksen to run into vacant spaces.
Dele Alli will miss the game through suspension and this could be a big blow in the centre of midfield for Spurs. Nacer Chadli misses out with an ankle injury and Erik Lamela remains a doubt with a lingering groin injury but I would expect him to play some part. Nabil Bentaleb will miss the game with a foot injury but he should be back in the first team fold very soon.
Thibaut Courtois is still out for Chelsea, he is expected back in two to three weeks and Falcao is also missing through injury. John Terry and Ramires have knocks but I cannot see anything making the captain miss this game, while the Brazilian is 50/50.
The last time these two teams met at White Hart Lane was on New Year’s Day. The home side won a thriller 5-3, with a certain Harry Kane causing all sorts of problems for the opposing back four. Chelsea had beaten Spurs 3-0 only a month before. The sides faced off again in March but this time in the Capital One Cup final. It ended in a solid 2-0 victory for Mourinho and his team.
Historically, the sides have met 144 times in all competitions with Chelsea winning 62 of those fixtures. At White Hart Lane, it is very even. Of the 71 games played there, they have won 26 each, drawing 19 times with each team averaging over 1.5 goals per game. However, this season the teams find themselves at opposite ends of the table. Spurs are unbeaten since the opening day and are playing some brilliant football and defending stoutly, conceding only eleven goals in their thirteen games, the second least in the league. Chelsea have conceded 23, which is one less than Spurs have scored, whilst scoring only seventeen goals. As a result, the Blues find themselves ten points behind the Lilywhites.
Eric Dier – Whilst Harry Kane has been getting a lot of the plaudits for getting back into his goal scoring rhythm, Eric Dier has been doing his job like any defensive midfielder should: quietly and effectively. His simplicity in his play is a joy to watch as he breaks down attacks and then keeps the ball. His job is not to go out and score 40 yard wonder goals but it seems he might be able to do that too. His strike against Manchester City was as pure as they come. His inclusion has allowed players like Dembele, Eriksen and Alli, even, to have a lot more freedom going forward. Dier is one of the main reasons that Spurs have been so hard to beat at the back.
Oscar – The Brazilian playmaker has missed a few games this season but he was back to his best on Tuesday night. He scored and created as Chelsea seemed to be playing back to their usual level. This was of course helped by a weaker team playing the entire second half with ten men but the confidence gained will be invaluable. They will go to Tottenham believing that they can win the game which is something I feel they have been missing, especially in the latter stages of games. Oscar will be key to anything that happens in the attacking third. Willian has been the only real spark thus far but with Oscar back and in form, he can provide something a little different. Hazard is looking to get back into a bit of form as well and I think Oscar facilitates the likes of Hazard, Costa and even Fabregas. He gives them a much more complete feel about them.
This game is very tough to call because I can see it going either way. I would not be surprised to see either side take the three points. With Chelsea’s added confidence I am anticipating goals, for both teams. Kane is in a great run of form and he will fancy himself to bag another goal against the Blues at the Lane. I am going to sit on the fence and call a score draw for this game. It should be a fun watch, both sides are quite expansive going forward so there should be a number of chances at either end.
I predict a 2-2 draw.