Tottenham Hotspur have been enjoying a great season so far, but their hopes of winning the Premier League title depend on the game between Manchester United and Leicester City at Old Trafford this Sunday. Even if Spurs had won against West Bromwich Albion on Monday night, it still would have been quite the challenge to replace Leicester at the top, but to not win was a huge blow.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side started brightly and Craig Dawson’s own goal had them in front, but it all went wrong in the second half as the Baggies began to pile on the pressure and eventually equalised, as Dawson atoned for his earlier goal at the wrong end. Spurs are still five clear of Man City and Arsenal and are likely to finish second and the future looks very bright for them.
Chelsea have been struggling majorly this season, and the team as such have failed to continue the stellar performances they put up last season. Chelsea’s defence has been one of the worst in recent memory. With four matches to go, they are in the ninth position. It is obvious that European football won’t be something the Blues venture into next season and Antonio Conte’s task when he takes the manager’s job will be to ensure they go back to winning ways.
John Terry and Gary Cahill are expected to be available for the home side. Terry is likely to be fit, although possibly not to start with a hamstring and then Achilles problem, while illness ruled Cahill out of last week’s win at Bournemouth.
Thibaut Courtois completes his two-match suspension, while Loic Remy and Kurt Zouma are out.
Spurs will make a late decision on Eric Dier after he suffered a bout of concussion against West Brom. Dele Alli will miss the game at Stamford Bridge as he begins his three-match ban, while Nabil Bentaleb remains out with a knee injury.
• The fact that Leicester and Spurs, two teams with only two top-flight titles between them and not one since 1961, are the only ones in with a shout of winning the league just shows what a crazy season it has been in the Premier League.
• Fabregas now has 95 assists in the Premier League; only Ryan Giggs (162) and Frank Lampard (102) have more in the history of the competition.
• Chelsea lost their last Premier League home game against Manchester City; they haven’t lost two in a row in the competition at Stamford Bridge since November 2011.
• Sigurdsson scored again in the 19th minute at White Hart Lane in September 2013 to put Spurs 1-0 ahead of Chelsea but John Terry equalised for the Blues after 65 minutes to ensure the points were shared. Chelsea ran-out 4-0 winners in the game at Stamford Bridge in March 2014 with goals from Samuel Eto’o, Eden Hazard and a brace from Demba Ba.
• Chelsea won the Premier League match in December 2014 at Stamford Bridge 3-0 with goals from Eden Hazard, Didier Drogba and Loic Remy.
• The New Years Day 2015 match at White Hart Lane saw a stunning game in which Chelsea took an 18th minute lead through Diego Costa before goals from Harry Kane, Danny Rose and an Andros Townsend penalty saw Spurs go into half-time 3-1 to the good. Harry Kane scored again on 52 minutes then Eden Hazard pulled one back for Chelsea on the hour mark. Nacer Chadli scored the fifth goal for Tottenham on 78 minutes and John Terry completed the scoring three minutes before time.
• Overall, Spurs have won 69, Chelsea have won 76 and 49 of the 194 matches between the two clubs have been drawn.
League Head to Head
29/11/2015 Premier League 2015/2016 Tottenham Hotspur 0 – 0 Chelsea
01/03/2015 League Cup 2014/2015 [N] Chelsea 2 – 0 Tottenham Hotspur
01/01/2015 Premier League 2014/2015 Tottenham Hotspur 5 – 3 Chelsea
03/12/2014 Premier League 2014/2015 Chelsea 3 – 0 Tottenham Hotspur
08/03/2014 Premier League 2013/2014 Chelsea 4 – 0 Tottenham Hotspur
28/09/2013 Premier League 2013/2014 Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 1 Chelsea
Chelsea – Diego Costa
With the team crumbling around him, Costa has managed to keep his cool and delivered some remarkable performances. He is considered the frontrunner for the Blues at this point. The Spaniard could be considered a risk, but when he behaves he performs.
Costa’s last six league appearances saw the 27-year-old net four goals from 20 shots. Costa also created six chances for teammates during the spell, resulting in a further two assists. Further stats show he completed eight successful dribbles and won 10 aerial duels.
Tottenham Hotspur – Harry Kane
Tottenham’s goal machine has 13 goals in his last 14 league outings and has netted five in his last three on the road. He seems to thrive in London derbies and Chelsea will need to mark him tightly. Kane has surpassed Wayne Rooney as England’s leading striker and is also a leader in the Tottenham dressing-room – his picture posted on social media of lions on the prowl has set the tone for their belief in overhauling Leicester. Kane is the classic all-round centre forward – he can finish with either foot or his head, can score inside or outside the box, and holds the ball up as well.
The likely outcome would be a 2-1 victory for the Spurs. Although there is an 18-point gap between the two sides, this match should be pretty competitive. Chelsea will look to end the season as strongly as they can, while also looking to beat their local rivals. Tottenham, though, have proved to be a real force all season and will be out to finish the campaign as best they can after last week’s disappointing draw.