Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Premier League preview: Chelsea v Tottenham

Title hopes and Champions League aspirations are on the line when Chelsea host London rivals Tottenham at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

With just four matches remaining in the English Premier League this season, both sides still have plenty left to play for in the run home.

Defending champions Chelsea trail league leaders Manchester United by six points and must win all of their remaining games to keep their slim hopes of back-to-back titles alive.

The Blues extended their winning streak to four games with a 3-0 victory over West Ham on Saturday, with 50 million pound signing Fernando Torres finally breaking his drought with his first goal for the club.

The win came at a cost however, with Michael Essien injuring his knee in the match, while Ramires and Alex both remain on the sidelines.

Florent Malouda joined Torres on the scoresheet at the weekend, and said Chelsea will keep fighting for the title until the final match.

“That’s our object until the end of the season,” Malouda told Chelsea’s official website. “Right now we are getting back to our best performances, so we have to keep putting pressure on and keep winning.”

“Honestly, (winning the title) will be difficult. The only thing we are looking at now is winning every game we have, then you never know.”

For Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham, the aim for the remainder of the season is ensuring a Champions League berth for next season, aspirations which took a blow after they were held to a 2-2 draw by West Brom at the weekend.

Despite being a revelation on Europe’s biggest stage this season, reaching the last eight of the Champions League for the first time, Spurs are in danger of missing out on next year’s competition as they trail fourth-placed Manchester City by four points.

They also come into Saturday’s match on a horrible run of form, with just one win in their last nine matches in all competitions.

Tottenham’s injury concerns have eased slightly, although Ledley King, Alan Hutton and Jonathan Woodgate are all unavailable, while Gareth Bale is expected to play after completing a full 90 minutes against West Brom at the weekend.

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