The last meeting between Tottenham and Chelsea saw the now European Champions run out 5-1 winners at Wembley in the FA Cup semi final. But Spurs host Chelsea this Saturday lunchtime (12.45pm BST) in a match which sees a number of new faces for both sides.
Things are starting to look much better for Andre Villas-Boas at this stage, although you’ve got to wonder how long it will be before the knives are sharpened for him once again.
To say the Tottenham manager masterminded the recent win at Old Trafford might be one step too far, but it was certainly an impressive result considering the start Spurs had to this season.
The North Londoners started the game against Manchester United in emphatic fashion, going 2-0 up inside 32 minutes. New signing Clint Dempsey added the third in a crazy second half which saw three quick-fire goals between the two sides.
Gareth Bale once again displayed his qualities, using his pace and clinical finishing in front of goal to drain the life out of Old Trafford. It really doesn’t seem to matter which defence you put in front of the Welshman, because if he’s in the mood he will be a major threat. Bale impressed for his country during the recent international break and will be looking to continue his scoring form.
Tottenham also have a fantastic recent record against Chelsea at White Hart Lane. Spurs have won three of the last six home games against the west London club, picking up draws in the other three meetings. Notably, these games have all been league encounters.
This is also the first match Andre Villas-Boas will have against his former employers.
Jermain Defoe is likely to get another start for Tottenham this weekend. Defoe started in England’s last game, a disappointing and lacklustre 1-1 draw away to Poland. But the striker has been in good form for his club this season, scoring four goals along with two assists. The game away to Reading was particularly impressive and Defoe could easily have added to his two goals scored that day.
Steven Caulker is likely to partner William Gallas once again, with Jan Vertonghen remaining at left-back.
Chelsea’s recent form is identical to Tottenham’s, with both teams picking up four wins in their last five with the solitary draw.
Chelsea are still top of the league table and are managing to get plenty of goals to keep their steady pace.
The most impressive recent win was the away match at Arsenal. The 2-1 score was deserving as Arsenal really seemed to shoot themselves in the foot for that game. Fernando Torres opened the scoring while Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny seemed to guide in Chelsea’s second.
Torres’ goal in the last league game against Norwich was his second in consecutive league games.
But Chelsea were not totally convincing against FC Nordsjaeland in the Champions League. Their 4-0 win certainly doesn’t tell the whole story and they will have a tougher test when they visit Spurs this weekend.
John Terry’s ban will come into play for this game. The Chelsea captain has wisely opted not to appeal his four game holiday.
Both sides will be set up to play a quick attacking game, although we might see more possession from the visitors.
As always for Chelsea, the key will be to send Fernando Torres through on goal. He’s certainly worth backing for a goal at anytime following his recent form.
Spurs v Chelsea Betting Tips
Despite Tottenham’s good record against Chelsea and their impressive result at Manchester United, I believe the visitors will be too much for Andre Villas-Boas’ team.
Chelsea are certainly capable of conceding, as we’ve seen when they face very good opposition. But their attack remains one of the most impressive in the Premier League, no matter who they start.