Premier League – Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur
After Wednesday’s defeat at Manchester City, the Premier League is probably going to take a back seat for Chelsea for a while. A top four spot now seems unlikely and the Blues are still in both the Champions League and the FA Cup where they could meet this weekend’s opponents, Spurs, in the semi-finals.
Roberto Di Matteo’s side were unlucky not to come away from the Etihad with at least a point. City’s penalty award seemed a trifle harsh and gave the title-chasers fresh impetus after Chelsea had matched them for a large portion of the game, taking a shock lead through Gary Cahill’s deflected shot on the hour. Cahill is again likely to deputise for England team-mate John Terry against Spurs with the skipper still feeling the effects of knee surgery and anxious to be fully fit for next week’s trip to Benfica. There’s no doubt that Chelsea look a happier and more organised unit since the change of coach and it’s good to see Fernando Torres among the goals again. Spurs have never beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League and that statistic may be extended this weekend with the Blues 17/20 to pick up all three points.
From being credible title contenders just a month ago, Tottenham’s season has nose-dived and they’ve only managed one win in their last six games and that was against League 1 Stevenage in the FA Cup. That competition is now their only hope of silverware this season and, with Arsenal in full flow, it looks likely that they’ll have to go down the play-off route to qualify for next season’s Champions League, even if they arrest their slide. It needed a last-minute goal from Rafael van der Vaart to rescue a point at home to Stoke on Wednesday and Spurs look a shadow of the side they were earlier in the season now that the goals have dried up. For obvious reasons, the game against Tony Pulis’ side wouldn’t have been an easy one for Tottenham’s players but they’ll have to be at their best to stop resurgent Chelsea narrowing the gap between the teams in the league and ensuring a nervous end to the campaign for Harry Redknapp and his boys. Chelsea/Chelsea on the Half Time/Full Time Forecast is 15/8 and Paddy Power will refund all losing first/last goalscorer, correct score and scorecast singles should Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard or John Terry score the game’s last goal.