CHELSEA VS TOTTENHAM PREVIEW
DATE : IST APRIL, 2018
Kick-off: Sunday 4pm
VENUE : STAMFORD BRIDGE, WEST LONDON, ENGLAND
REFEREE :Andre Marriner
Form guide: Chelsea (LLWLW), Tottenham (WWLWW)
Chelsea will look to keep alive their top-four aspirations when the welcome Tottenham Hotspur at the Stamford bridge in what is termed to be the game of the week in this weekend's Premier League fixtures.
The Blues can boast of an impressive record against their London rivals at Stamford Bridge. With the title Chelsea over, but only F.A cup in sight for the blues, they head into the match knowing that three points will be crucial for the race of UEFA Champions League qualification. Maybe a UCL qualification and a F.A success will salvage their season.
Chelsea's big game record has also been disappointing, having failed to win any of their last four matches against the big six, including back-to-back defeats at the hands of Manchester United and Manchester City in the Premier League a month ago.
While Chelsea have struggled over the past few months, Tottenham have lost just two of their last 25 matches and are in a strong position heading into this match. Having been ousted from the Champions League buy Juventus and the Premier League out of sight, Mauricio Pochetino and his lad will ensure that UCL qualification and probably F.A cup success to end the season on a high note.
Victory for Spurs would see them move eight points ahead of Chelsea in the battle for a top-four place in the Premier League.
"It will be a massive game for both teams," said Pochettino. "When you play this type of game, the pressure is for both teams. History is history and is there, but it is not going to help. That is not what counts.
"Of course there is still a lot of games to play, this is not a final, this is not a decisive game, but always it is important for your confidence, your motivation. To win in Chelsea would be fantastic for everyone.
Spurs are unbeaten in the league since December 16 while Chelsea have lost two of their last three.
Team news Chelsea
Chelsea a will check on the fitness of a couple of key players, goalkeeper
Thibaut Courtois is suffering with a hamstring problem and Andreas Christensen is seemingly tired
Willy Caballero will be waiting for his second league appearance of the season if required, and Conte insists that he has no problem throwing Gary Cahill into a likely back three if Christensen is not fit to start.
Defender David Luiz (knee) is definitely out, along with midfielder Ross Barkley who is set to feature for the club's Under-23 side. Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata are battling it out for the central striker role. Despite the latter's underwhelming form over the past few months, he will feel refreshed after a two-week rest which could see him favoured.
Tottenham could have Harry Kane in the squad when they face Chelsea.
Kane was expected to be unavailable as he recovers from an ankle ligament injury suffered against Bournemouth earlier this month, but he might have a chance of featuring at Stamford Bridge.
"We need to assess, there is still a few days to the game," said Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino on Thursday. "It's difficult now to say yes or no to be involved in the game."
That seems highly unlikely, and the inform Son is therefore expected to continue leading the line for Spurs.
Spurs on the other hand have a clean bill of health, so there are also decisions to be made at centre-back and at full-back. Toby Alderweireld came through international duty unscathed and is pushing for a start, while Ben Davies, Kieran Trippier and
Serge Aurier are also in contention for a start.
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Hazard
Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Dembele; Lamela, Alli, Eriksen; Son
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 27 home league matches against Spurs (W18 D9) since losing 2-1 in February 1990.
Spurs' 25 games at Stamford Bridge without winning in the Premier League is the most that one team has played on one ground without a single victory in the competition.
Tottenham have won more points in Premier League London derbies this season than any other side (13 - W4 D1 L2).
The Blues are looking to do their first league double over Tottenham since the 2005-06 season.
Chelsea are looking to secure back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since December - they're winless in their last four against fellow 'big six' sides (D2 L2), although all of those have been away from home.
Spurs are unbeaten in six Premier League away games (W4 D2) since a 1-4 loss at Man City in December.
Under Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham have won 59% of their Premier League games in which Harry Kane has featured (won 77/131) compared to just 39% when he's played no part (5/13)
©️Oladuji Tofunmi emmanuel