Chelsea’s Champions League hopes hang in the balance this weekend, as Tottenham head to Stamford Bridge. With just eight games of the Premier League season remaining, there’s so much on the line when the fifth placed Blues host the side directly above them in the table. The champions need to claim all three points in order to close the gap on the top four, and anything short of a win will leave Antonio Conte’s side staring at a season in the Europa League. There’s plenty of pressure on the hosts ahead of this huge game on Sunday, but just how will the hosts approach this massive derby clash?
Of course, this is a crucial game for Spurs as well, who are eying up the likes of Man United and Liverpool ahead of them. Such ambitions are long gone for Chelsea, who will just want to secure fourth and make their way into the Champions League yet again. Having recently missed out on Europe and slogged through the Europa League, they’ll know exactly what is on the line in this clash. On top of that, fans will remember stealing Tottenham’s Champions League spot after winning the competition in 2012, so pipping them to the post would be incredibly rewarding in a tough season.
Team News: Blues Close to Full Strength for Champions League Decider
Chelsea are only without David Luiz and Ross Barkley once again this weekend, although neither of those two would have featured in this clash anyway. Conte will want to stick with his most trusted side for this clash, and that’s going to see them stick with a 3-4-3 set-up. We expect no major changes from the usual set-up, which is a boost ahead of a game which the Blues can’t afford to lose.
Tottenham’s major worry for this game is the fact that Harry Kane remains on the side-lines. He’s set for a month out of action, and that could well derail Tottenham’s push for the top four. There’s now a gap up front for the visitors, who don’t have that much strength in depth in attack. Forward Fernando Llorente – a player Chelsea were haggling over in August – is likely to step up in his place.
Tottenham come into this game with five wins in their last six matches, having lost at home to Juventus in the Champions League. That’s their only defeat since Christmas, which is an impressive run from Spurs. However, they have a tough test in this clash, which puts that record in jeopardy; as they’ve only travelled to one top six side during that run.
Spurs have fixed up their home form, as they’ve adapted to their temporary home. They’re unbeaten in six away trips, but before that they picked up a single point in five league matches on the road, Given that those games included meetings with sides who were all in the top half at that stage, that doesn’t bode well for this trip.
Chelsea v Tottenham Head to Head
History is on the side of Chelsea here, given that Spurs are without a win at the Bridge since 1990, having failed to win in their last 26 attempts at this ground. Three of the last four encounters here have gone the way of the Blues, and they will be hoping to add to that against their rivals on Sunday. The Blues have won the last two clashes – which both came at Wembley. Can they now claim three points in front of their own fans?
- Tottenham 1-2 Chelsea, Aug 2017
- Chelsea 4-2 Tottenham, Apr 2017
- Tottenham 2-0 Chelsea, Jan 2017
- Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham, Nov 2016
- Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham, May 2016
- Under 2.5 Goals – 4/5 with Betfred
- Chelsea to win 1-0 – 7/1 with Coral
Chelsea need a win in this game, and they do come into the encounter as favourites for the three points. The Blues can be backed at 13/10 with Ladbrokes for the victory, while the draw is out at 12/5 with BetVictor. Meanwhile, Tottenham have been priced up at 23/10 with Betfair to take the points back from the Bridge on Sunday.
However, we can’t see the visitors getting a result out of this crucial trip, especially given that this is a must win game for Conte and his charges. However, that doesn’t mean that we’re anticipating an open game, as the Blues are likely to be on the spot at times, so they’ll need to be solid at the back in order to stave off the visitors.
Luckily, that’s been the case in most of their big home clashes this season. We recently saw them hold off Barcelona for almost all of the game at the Bridge, and their big clashes domestically have gone in a similar direction. Arsenal have drawn 0-0 twice at this ground; once in the league and once in the EFL Cup. The Blues have beaten Man United 1-0 here and lost 1-0 to City despite a solid performance. With that form in mind, we can see a low scoring game against Spurs outfit who will miss Harry Kane. We’re backing under 2.5 goals as our tip here, which is priced at 4/5 with Betfred.
Tottenham have a bit of an issue when it comes to top sides, as they’ve had four trips to the top six this term and claimed just one point. A draw at Anfield was a fortunate result for Spurs, while they were beaten by Man City, United and Arsenal this term. That follows on from their troubles on the road last term, which saw them win just one of their meetings at top 10 sides. With Spurs in poor form in their trips to this ground, we are going with a narrow win for the Blues. We like the look of a 1-0 correct score, which you can back at 7/1 with Coral ahead of this clash.