Tottenham v Chelsea: Spurs To Make Statement Of Intent Against Hated Rivals
Nothing quite beats a Saturday lunchtime kick-off and they don’t come much bigger or better than a London derby between two sides that basically hate each other
Nothing quite beats a Saturday lunchtime kick-off, and they don’t come much bigger or better than a London derby between two sides that, quite frankly, hate each other.
The rivalry between Chelsea and Spurs may not be borne out of geographical factors, but it is no less intense for that, supporters of both teams still accustomed to harping on about the 1967 FA Cup final and the relegation scrap that ensued in 1975.
Nowadays, other than hammering North London rivals Arsenal, Spurs love nothing more than knocking high-flyers Chelsea off their perch, and Saturday’s derby will offer the White Hart Lane faithful that rare sight at kick-off: Spurs sitting above the Blues in the Premier League table.
Although Chelsea traditionally enjoy themselves at White Hart Lane, and in this fixture in general, winning 74 of the 190 matches in which these two have been pitted against each other, the winds of change seem to be blowing across London, from West to North.
Last season the Blues ran out 4-2 winners in this fixture courtesy of goals from Gary Cahill, Juan Mata, and Daniel Sturridge, but there is no doubting the fact that the return of Jose Mourinho in the summer has not quite heralded the arrival of a new blue dawn at Stamford Bridge.
Meanwhile, the man Roman Abramovich rejected in the Stamford Bridge hot seat, Andre Villas-Boas, is holding his own in leading a solid Spurs outfit into the post-Gareth Bale era.
Chelsea, who last season boasted an embarrassment of riches in the final third, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar, and Juan Mata running their opponents ragged week-in, week-out, have had to make do this season with lacklustre displays from Hazard, and bamboozling public statements from Mourinho regarding his lack of faith in Mata.
Spurs fans, meanwhile, have watched dazzling displays from their new attacking arrivals, Christian Eriksen and Roberto Saldado already finding the back of the net this season. Soldado is currently 6/1 to open the scoring on Saturday with BetVictor. With Bale now firmly out of the picture at The Lane, Spurs seem more of a cohesive unit, with spirit and style flowing through the ranks and goals coming from sources other than the left boot of the Welshman.
Let’s not also forget that Spurs have a score to settle with Chelsea after the humiliating transfer of Willian, who ended up signing for the Blues after initial talks with Tottenham, much to the mocking delight of Mourinho, and you can see how this one has all the ingredients of a rather tasty clash which Tottenham might just fancy winning on home soil, at odds of 17/10 with BetVictor.
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