The London derby between Chelsea and Tottenham on Apr. 15 will still take place in Britain’s capital; however this edition will be played at Wembley Stadium as an FA Cup semi final match with the winner advancing to the final against Liverpool on May 5.
Spurs and Chelsea are also battling it out for fourth place in the English Premier League table and a berth in next season’s European Champions League. Of course, Chelsea is still in this year’s competition and would qualify automatically if they should happen to win it. They have a tough task ahead of them though as they face Spanish giants Barcelona in the semi finals.
Tottenham is clinging to fourth place in the league at the moment with 59 points. However Newcastle is level with them on points and Chelsea is in sixth place, just two points back at 57.
Tottenham made the FA Cup semi-finals after a 3-1 win over Bolton 3-1 and Chelsea got this far by knocking out Leicester City in the last round. Chelsea hasn’t played as well as expected this year and that has resulted in the sacking of former manager Andre Villas-Boas. However, they could still end up winning the Champions League and the FA Cup as well as finishing in the top four in the EPL.
Spurs started off the season as one of the top teams in the league, but their form over the past six weeks or so has been pretty dreadful and manager Harry Redknapp doesn’t really appear to have a clue how to stop the ship from sinking. He has enough talent in the squad, but simply doesn’t know how to use it when it comes to the big games. Hopefully the selectors of England’s next manager can see this.
Chelsea will have to play the game without Branislav Ivanovic as the defender was rightfully suspended for punching Shaun Maloney of Wigan last week and was charged by the FA with violent conduct. This means Jose Bosingwa or Paulo Ferreira could take his place at right back. Captain John Terry should be in the squad, but he has cracked ribs. Also, Ashley Cole will be hoping to return from an injured ankle. The teams have met in the league twice this season and both games ended up as draws. At Stamford Bridge they played a goalless game and ended up drawing 1-1 when playing at White Hart Lane.
Spurs lost their last game as Norwich beat them 2-1 at home while Chelsea was held to a 1-1 draw by Fulham at Stamford Bridge. Spurs problem is playing with just one striker in most games, which means two of Emmanuel Adebayor, Jermaine Defoe and Louis Saha are sitting on the bench while less skilled players and scorers are on the field. Spurs haven’t made an FA Cup final appearance since winning the cup 21 years ago. They were knocked out of the semi-final by Portsmouth in 2010.
If Chelsea manages to win the FA Cup and Champions League, they’ll be just the second English team to do so after Manchester United pulled it off in 1999. United also won the league that year for a treble. Manager Roberto Di Matteo has a lot of experienced players to choose from, but they don’t match up to Spurs in speed. Spurs hope midfielder Scott Parker can recover from his hamstring problems in time while defender Ledley King’s status is in the air. Younes Kaboul and Niko Kranjcar will likely miss the match and Michael Dawson is out for the season.
This should be another close game and a 90-minute draw is a distinct possibility.
According to the latest release by sportsbook William Hill, the odds of Tottenham winning the game are 13/8 with a Chelsea victory at 19/10 and a 90-minute draw at 2-1.