CHELSEA v Spurs: Preview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Date: Saturday, 24 March

Kick-off: 12.45 GMT

 

Having not put on anywhere near a good enough show against City midweek, this is probably our biggest game this season. A bit humbling that we’ve gone from fighting for the title to fighting for a Champions League place but that’ our reality now and nothing les than a win will realistically do us today. No pressure then!

 

 

MANAGERS’ VIEWS

The honeymoon period under Roberto Di Matteo ended with defeat midweek and he knows it’ll be a struggle to qualify for the Champions League now, but going into today’s game, the Chelsea manager says “A win would give us a big, big lift.  But if we manage to get a draw, I think we’re still in it.  If we lose, I think it will be very difficult afterwards.  Mathematically, it is still possible so we will fight until the end but we are looking to have a good game on Saturday.   Certainly, we have the most difficult schedule and fixture list until the end of the season compared to the other teams.   But we have a good team, we have a good squad, an almost fully-fit squad as well.  We have all the resources that we need to be able to challenge.”

Harry Redknapp meanwhile, says “The players don’t sit in there thinking we have to make the Champions League, they don’t think that way, they are not panicking, they just want to play well in every game.  They’re not walking around down because we lost a couple o games. They will just get on with it.  There are nine games to go and lots of points to play for and lots of twists and turns between now and the end of the season.”  Whilst on us, he says “The results have changed but they’ve always been a top team,” he said. “They played well at Spurs this season and they have a team of players with real leaders and winners at the club like (John) Terry, (Frank) Lampard and (Didier) Drogba.  For them to find themselves struggling to be in the top four doesn’t happen… normally they are nailed on for top two. But it’s all changed with Man City coming in and us creeping in there and now they are scrapping to get a top four place.”

 

 

SQUAD NEWS

John Terry (calf) should start. Ivanovic (thigh) will face a late fitness test although Oriol Romeu (knee) is fit again.

For Spurs, Dawson (ankle), Gomes (knee), and Huddlestone (ankle) are out, Lennon (hamstring) isn’t fit, Adebayor (hamstring) is a major doubt and Ledley King faces a late fitness test.

 

 

TEAMS

CHELSEA (from): Cech, Bosingwa, Terry, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Bertrand, Mikel, Romeu, Essien, Meireles, Ramires, Lampard, Mata, Malouda, Drogba, Torres, Sturridge, Kalou, Turnbull.

SPURS (from): Friedel, Cudicini, Assou-Ekotto, Rose, Kaboul, Gallas, Khumalo, Walker, King, Nelsen, Livermore, Sandro, Parker, Bale, Kranjcar, Dos Santos, Modric, Defoe, Adebayor, Saha, Van der Vaart, Lancaster, Luongo.

 

 

LAST MEETING

Spurs 1-1 Chelsea (22nd December 2011)

 

PREDICTION

So, they haven’t beaten us in the league in either of my kids’ lifetimes but these records have a horrible habit of coming to an end, and if our run of 8 home games unbeaten in 2012 comes to an end today, so will our hopes of Champions League football next season. Fancy predicting the outcome? Me neither!

 

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