Chelsea play their penultimate home game of the season on Monday night against Tottenham. The Premier League champions might already have lost their trophy by the time this game kicks off. If not, then this will be a massive fixture in the title race, with Spurs still in with a shout. Sadly, that’s a race that the Blues are ridiculously far off. Can they salvage some pride with a result against their rivals on Monday?
Guus Hiddink’s men looked to be king makers in the title race, given how they face the top two in their last two home matches. That all changed in last Monday’s game, which saw Spurs slip up to West Brom. That has left Leicester one victory away from sealing the title, and they head to Old Trafford on Sunday. Regardless of the result in that game, if Chelsea avoid defeat here, they’ll surrender their status as champions.
That’s something that the Blues actually want to happen. Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas have both been open about their preference in the title race. They may simply be playing to the fans, but they have both said they don’t want Spurs winning the title. That certainly adds extra spice to this clash, as if it needed any.
While it’s fair for the players to make statements like that, you have to think that it might not be their place. It’s fine for them to take a dislike to a rival, but they should maybe avoid talking about the title race. After all, this is a race that they missed out on following an almost unprecedented collapse. Probably better if they don’t bring it up!
The team will have to overcome several injuries in order to stop Spurs. John Terry has yet to return, and there’s been no update on when he’ll be back. Loic Remy is struggling for fitness, while Kurt Zouma continues to miss out. Thibaut Courtois is suspended for the game, so Asmir Begovic will continue in goal.
We should see few changes to the side following the impressive win at Bournemouth last weekend. It was one of their best displays all season, so it makes sense that most of that side will keep their place. John Obi Mikel impressed at centre back on Saturday, but Gary Cahill should be ready to come back in his place. The Nigerian would be a worry at the back against the likes of Harry Kane.
Dele Alli is set to miss the game, he’s been charged with violent conduct by the FA. He could possibly miss the end of the season, after he was alleged to have punched West Brom’s Claudio Yacob in their last match.
Even without Alli, Spurs are a very dangerous side. They haven’t won at Stamford Bridge since 1990, and they’ll be itching to put that right. While they’re having a great season, we expect the Blues to hold out and deny Spurs the win they need in a tight game.
LCN Verdict: 1-1 draw