Sarri facing stern Tottenham test

Last updated: February 26, 2019 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Wednesday, 20:00
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Form: LWLWL
Away Form: WWWWL
Last Meeting: Chelsea 2 – 1 Spurs
Competition: EPL

The big games are coming thick and fast, Chelsea were involved in the EFL Cup final on Sunday and a few days later are facing local rivals Tottenham in the Premier League. After a narrow defeat against Manchester City in the final, under fire Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri‘s survival hopes may well depend on this fixture.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri had a nightmare decision before the weekend’s EFL final clash with Manchester City. Did he prioritise the cup final which would have been his the first-ever trophy of his managerial career? Or did he have one eye on the Premier League fixture with Tottenham with a focus on securing that important Champions League spot? These would have been the questions going through the Chelsea manager’s mind as his side faced two huge games in quick succession.

Sarri made a flying start to life as Chelsea boss but recent results, not least a recent 6-0 mauling by Sunday’s opponents Manchester City, have made the public forget it was Sarri’s Chelsea who handed City their defeat of the season. That 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge seems a distant memory. Off-field, Chelsea have been rocked by the news that they have been banned from signing new players for two transfer windows. Chelsea intends to appeal the decision, but this news adds pressure on new loan signing Gonzalo Higuaín. His acquisition was a bold move and the Argentine has played well, combining with Eden Hazard with both players scoring a brace each in the 5 – 0 win against Huddersfield.

It doesn’t matter which stick you choose to try and beat Tottenham with this season, they keep defying the experts and in many ways, logic. We all keep waiting for the bubble to burst, injuries to crucial players, a refusal to spend a penny in the transfer market but yet, Spurs stubbornly sit third, just six points behind and quietly waiting and lurking. Tottenham’s position would have been even better had they not fallen to a surprise 2-1 defeat away at Burnley this weekend. The silver lining on that cloud was the comeback of captain Harry Kane who made a scoring return from injury.

It’s not just the Premier League that is the stuff of fairy tales for Tottenham, they take a three-goal advantage to Germany when they face Borussia Dortmund. Only a spectacular collapse will prevent them from reaching the last 16. The realist would have given up on Tottenham winning the league when talisman Harry Kane was sidelined on the 13th January. Dele Ali was injured soon after and influential Son Heung-min left for the Asian Cup, defeats in the FA Cup and the League Cup in the space of a week looked bleak. Despite this Tottenham bounced back in the league with four consecutive wins. Son is in great form since his return and has three goals in his last four Premier League appearances. With Harry Kane back in the team, there is plenty for Tottenham fans to be excited about.

Team News

Hazard is the leading playmaker in the PL with 10 assists and looks to be back to his best form with new signing Gonzalo Higuaín by his side.

Chelsea boss Sarri is under fire regarding recent form. Chelsea lost 6 – 0 to City and lost the EFL final at the weekend on penalties.

Kane is back in the first team with his coach calling him “an animal” for his desire to get back and making an early recovery.

Spurs didn’t drop a point in the four league matches when Kane was absent. Son has scored in each of his last three since coming back from the Asian Cup.

Expected Line-Ups:

Chelsea (4-3-3): Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, D.Luiz, M.Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Barkley, Pedro, Higuaín, Hazard
Subs: Caballero, Zappacosta, Christensen, Kovacic, Willian, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi
Not available:
Spurs (4-3-2-1): Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Rose, Winks, Sissoko, Eriksen, Son, Kane
Subs: Gazzaniga, Wanyama, Foyth, Llorente, Aurier, Rose, Wanyama, Lamela, Moura
Injured: Janssen, Alli, Davies
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Chelsea This Season Spurs This Season
6th League Position 3rd
15 (7) Wins (away) 20 (11)
5 – 0 v Huddersfield Biggest Win 5 – 0 v Bournemouth
5 (1) Draws (away) 0 (0)
0 – 6 v Man City Biggest Defeat 2 – 4 v Arsenal
Kane (15) Top Goal Scorer Hazard (12)
Y33, R0 Discipline Y38, R1
8 Failures to Score 2
42.3% Clean Sheets 37.0%
57.7% Both Teams to Score Games 57.7%
61.5% Over 2.5 Goals 63.0%
38.5% Under 2.5 Goals 37.0%
  • Chelsea have only one player in double digits, Hazard (12) whereas Spurs have two in Kane (15) and Son (11).
  • The sides have met 53 times, Chelsea being the dominant side with 27 wins to Spurs 7, with the two London sides sharing the spoils 19 times.
  • Mauricio Pochettino’s men have only failed to score twice in the league this season with an average of 2.05 goals per match.
  • Harry Kane is more effective away from home. Scoring 9 goals away compared to 5 at temporary home Wembley.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
24/01/2019 League Cup Chelsea 2 – 1 Spurs Kante 27’
08/01/2019 League Cup Spurs 0 – 0 Chelsea
24/11/2018 EPL Spurs 3 – 1 Chelsea Alli 8′
01/04/2018 EPL Chelsea 1 – 3 Spurs Morata 30’
20/08/2017 EPL Spurs 1 – 2 Chelsea Alonso 24’

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Chelsea looked certainties for a top-four place only a month ago. Recent results mean they are in danger of slipping out of the race altogether with a resurgent Manchester United and Arsenal picking up points. Chelsea have problems on and off the field and we expect Tottenham to bounce back from a recent loss to Burnley to make those problems worse. Over 2.5 goals and a Tottenham win. You can get amazing football odds at Grosvenor Sport.