Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview March 24th

by Punter's Hero on March 24, 2012

in Football, Latest News

Both Chelsea and their London neighbours Tottenham Hotspur have seen their English Premier League title hopes dashed recently and the two teams are now fighting it out with cross town rivals Arsenal to grab fourth place in the table this season, which will earn them a berth in next season’s European Champions League.

This makes Saturday’s game at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Spurs one of the most important of the season for both clubs. Spurs currently sit in fourth place with 54 points from 16 wins, six draws and seven losses. Chelsea is right behind them, but five points off the pace in fifth with 49 points from 14 wins, seven draws and eight losses. Arsenal sits in third place with 55 points and Newcastle is just two behind Chelsea with 47.

Chelsea blew a big chance to gain some ground in the race by blowing a 1-0 lead against Manchester City on Wednesday and losing the game 2-1. Spurs fared a little better by scoring a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Stoke City. However, Spurs have really crashed to earth after being comfortably ahead of Arsenal in the battle for third place several weeks ago. In fact, they were doing so well at one point that it looked like they might challenge the Manchester teams for first overall.

Chelsea has played quite a bit better since Andre Villas-Boas was sacked as manager and replaced by assistant Roberto di Matteo. The club managed to overturn a 3-1 deficit to Napoli in the Champions league and advance to the quarterfinals and also managed to reach the semi finals of the FA Cup. Their first loss with Di Matteo in charge came against City this week. Captain John Terry is expected back for the clash against Spurs, but defender Branislav Ivanovic was injured against City and could miss the match. In addition, midfielder Oriel Romeu is expected to miss the contest.

Spurs can widen their lead over Chelsea to eight points with a win and this could guarantee them at least a fourth-place finish in the league this season. However, a loss will narrow the gap to just two points. Spurs will likely have to play without the services of striker Emmanuel Adebayor due to an injured hamstring. Winger Aaron Lennon could return after suffering his own hamstring injury, but midfielder Tom Huddlestone, goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, and defender Michael Dawson are all injured. As usual, Ledley King will need to pass a late fitness test.

Chelsea is in a lot better form over their past five games with four wins and a loss while Spurs have just one win, three losses and a draw. The two teams have played each other pretty evenly over the past few years with their previous encounter this year ending in a 1-1 draw. However, Spurs have never beaten Chelsea in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge in a total of 19 attempts.

Predictions for Chelsea v Tottenham

Look for a pretty good game here with neither team doing better than earning a draw.

Sportsbook William Hill lists the current odds of a Chelsea win at 10/11 with a Spurs victory at 10/3 and a draw at 23/10.

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