Tottenham and Chelsea meet in the second FA Cup semi-final of the weekend.
Liverpool defeated local rivals Everton 2-1 in the first of the weekends semi-finals yesterday and now it’s the turn of the two London teams to battle it out.
It may not be considered as local a derby as Everton vs. Liverpool but there is still London pride at stake when the two teams take to the pitch later today.
Both sides have to travel the relatively short distance to Wembley for what promises to be a fascinating encounter.
The two teams are currently involved in the tussle for a Champions League spot in the Premier League. They are neck and neck with Tottenham leading the Blues by just two points. These teams are quite similar in terms of quality and it could prove to be a very tight affair.
Chelsea head into this clash in better form than their opponents. The Blues have recovered their season slightly under Roberto Di Matteo are still in with a good chance of making the top four of the Premier League. The Italian seems to have restored confidence in his players and his team are four matches unbeaten in the Premier League.
Tottenham’s form has been atrocious in the last few months. Spurs have claimed just one victory out of the last eight Premier League games and their place in the Champions League next season is starting to look slightly doubtful.
The two encounters between the teams this season have been very tight. They drew 0-0 at Stamford Bridge after a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane earlier in the season. Those results point to this game being a very tight one.
One thing that both teams have in common is that they have class throughout their team. Chelsea’s team maybe aging but the likes of Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba still have touches of magic left in their boots. It’s in these sorts of games where the veteran duo usually thrive.
Tottenham have one of the most exciting wingers in the Premier League in Gareth Bale. The Welshman will no doubt cause problems for whoever he comes up against. Bale has the pace and power to take on any defence.
Spurs also have in-demand playmaker Luka Modric, who has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea in the past. Modric is the player that makes Spurs tick from the middle of the park. He could be the key to Tottenham if they want to gain a victory over their London rivals.
Chelsea will be without key defender Branislav Ivanovic, who is suspended after being handed a three-match ban by the FA for violent conduct. England international Ashley Cole is also a doubt for the clash, as he is struggling with an ankle problem.
Tottenham are hopeful that midfielder general Scott Parker shakes off a hamstring injury. Niko Kranjcar, William Gallas and Younes Kaboul are expected to be fit after picking up knocks in last weekends defeat against Norwich.
Despite the last few meetings between the teams being quite low-scoring affairs, this game promises to be an exciting one for the fans, not only for the fans of the two clubs involved but for the neutrals as well. This clash is hard to predict but I’m sure it will produce a superb spectacle.
Who will win the Tottenham-Chelsea semi-final clash?