Thursday, January 19, 2017

Prediction: Tottenham vs Chelsea

Verdict: Draw

Best Odds: 12/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

Chelsea’s Premier League title bid will be put on a stern test at the beginning of 2017. Antonio Conte’s men travel to White Hart Lane on the back of 13 Premier league wins on the trot and will be looking to extend their winning run against the invigorated Tottenham Hotspur who are coming off from four straight league wins.

Tottenham

Consistency has been the main problem for last season’s title contenders Tottenham Hotspur, who are struggling to replicate their fantastic form from the 2015-16 season. The Spurs have struggled in big matches and have wasted to many opportunities, which ultimately cost them the spot in the standings. The most recent patch, however, enabled Mauricio Pochettino’s men to get back in the race with Spurs currently sitting in fourth place, only one point behind third-placed Arsenal and four adrift of Liverpool in second. Chelsea’s trip to Stamford Bridge comes with great emotional significance for the hosts, who still remember that it was Chelsea who put their last season’s title challenge to an end with a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge. Pochettino’s men will be keen to make amends and get one back to their London rivals on Wednesday night. Spurs are enjoying a rich vein of form, having won 6 of their last seven matches and getting back to fine goalscoring form along the way. Eight goals in their last two matches are there to attest to it.

Team News

Mauricio Pochettino will have no major selection issues ahead of the big game on Wednesday. Spurs boss is happy to see Vertoghen and Walker come back from their yellow-card suspensions and will welcome them back into the fold with open arms.

Argentina international winger Erik Lamela remains the only unavailable player for the game due to illness.

Chelsea

Antonio Conte’s men have arguably been the most pleasant surprise of the season so far. We all knew Blues had quality and talent amidst their ranks, but it took one Italian manager to mix it all up in a perfect-football combination which saw Chelsea emerge as the firm favourites to lift the coveted Premier League title. Having switched formation to 3-4-3 and adopting a more attack-oriented approach, Antonio Conte’s men embarked on a 13-match winning run which now sits on the verge of historic, record-breaking 14th consecutive Premier League win. The Blues are enjoying a purple patch and will be determined to go down without a fight despite the most recent scare against Stoke City, which still ended in a 4-2 victory. The Potters presented Chelsea with a fight and it took an extra effort from Blues to emerge victorious at Stamford Bridge. Brazilian Willian was praised for his brilliant performance he capped with two goals to his name. It was an emotional occasion for the winger who had to deal with some difficult times towards the end of the year.

Team News

Antonio Conte is unlikely to ring any changes to a winning team and is expected to start with the same XI which started last time out. The only change could be a forced one as Marcos Alonso picked up an ankle injury, but the Spaniard will be assessed on match day.

Captain John Terry remains the only confirmed absentee due to his gluteal strain.

Key Aspects to Consider

  • Chelsea won their last 13 Premier League matches
  • Blues kept a clean sheet in 4 of their last 5 games
  • Tottenham scored 13 goals in last 4 EPL clashes
  • Harry Kane scored 3 goals in last 2 games for Spurs
  • Diego Costa is the leading EPL goalscorer with 14 goals thus far

Conclusion

Trip to White Hart lane could end up being the biggest title challenge yet for Antonio Conte’s men. The Blues are sitting on the cusps of a great achievement but the ongoing 13-match winning run could put great pressure on Chelsea players’ shoulders. Spurs will look to exploit any potential weaknesses and exert revenge for the last season’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge which cost them the Premier League title.

Verdict: Draw

Best Odds: 12/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

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