Capital One Cup Final Preview, Tottenham vs Chelsea.

Match date & time: Sunday 1st March 2015. 4pm GMT Kick Off.

Competition: Capital One Cup Final.

Venue: Wembley Stadium.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1. Worldwide TV listings can be found HERE.

It is finally here! The day that we have all been waiting for from the moment we booked our place in the competition beating Sheffield United over two legs. But now, there’s no two legs, no second chance and certainly no room for sentiment – this is a one off match, where the best side on that one day will go down in the record books, while the other will fade away into the abyss, until their chance next year. We have to make sure we go into the record books once again. This is without doubt the biggest game of our season; a chance for our first silverware in 7 years is a massive occasion, one that we have to grab with both hands. This result has the potential to define our season – if we win, no matter what happens in regards to the Premier League and top four, we will look back at the 2014/15 season with a smile on our face, whereas, if we lose, there will be a certain distain towards the season, but we would still have the opportunity to fight for top four, no matter how unlikely that may be. The game is about glory! The everlasting quote from the immortal Danny Blanchflower that will always echo through the heartbeat of the club, and we as Spurs fans will continue to believe, most of us anyway, that winning trophies represents a successful season. Despite our memorable run to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and reaching the top four of the Premier League twice, there is still a trophy sized whole in our hearts during this 7 year period that we desperately want to fill, and now we are so tantalisingly close, we simply can’t allow it to slip! This Cup Final is such a fascinating event, not only because it is for the first silverware of the season, but because of the rivalry and history between the two sides, as well as both sides knowing how to beat each other comfortably!

Chelsea are a great side, everyone knows that, all you have to do is look at their position in the Premier League, and see their record in the big games this season. They are a side that thrives on the big occasion, having World Class players with a World Class manager, and they perform on the biggest stages against the best sides 90% of the time. They top the Premier League, with a 5-point gap between themselves and Manchester City, all the while having lost just two in 26 games, they are a force to be reckoned with and I am sure they will be viewed as the favourites for this game, but in a Cup Final I like to think that the record is blank and each team is even until the final whistle, where the best side on the day will triumph. We have no reason to fear Chelsea, despite them having the better of the war in recent times, we won the last battle and wounded the beast, so now we are back on an even bigger stage to prove that it was no fluke and grasp glory. The last time we faced Chelsea was at the Lane, it was the Harry Kane and Nacer Chadli show as we dismantled the Blues to triumph 5-3 in what could arguably be the game of the season so far in the Premier League, and a repeat performance and result would do very nicely, but I’d take any result that ends up with Spurs scoring more goals! The last time we faced Chelsea at Wembley, it was the Blues who hit 5 in a 5-1 win in the FA Cup semi final, although in controversial fashion with the still frustrating decision to award Chelsea a goal despite the ball not seeming to cross the line back in 2011. The last time we went face to face with Chelsea in the League Cup was the Final at Wembley, where we were victorious 2-1 after extra time, with Dimitar Berbatov and Jonathon Woodgate scoring the vital goals that sent us to success 7 years ago in 2008, the last trophy that Tottenham tasted; now we are hungry once again and will look to repeat the feat.

The Chelsea team news is that key midfielder Nemanja Matic (suspension) is out, while fellow defensive midfielder John Obi Mikel (knee) is the only absentee through injury for the Premier League leaders. Matic will be a massive miss to the West London club, his strength, composure and technical ability will leave a Serbian size whole in the midfield, that should make it easier for us to find space in the final third with Christian Eriksen looking to exploit that extra space. The midfield battle without Matic swings in our favour, as well, with Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason’s energy and intensity, I’m sure Jose Mourinho would have wanted his trusty Serbian to try and negate the effect that the home-grown midfielders are capable of bringing to our team. Hopefully Nabil and Ryan can find their levels to outshine Cesc Fabregas and Ramires, expected to form the Blue’s partnership. Diego Costa has an extreme goal threat with 18 goals this season. His brute strength and aggression is something that can really be effective in the big games, but hopefully the occasion gets the better of him and his aggression boils over! As well as Costa, it’s Eden Hazard that takes the mantle of biggest threat, he can breeze past players and is so effective in the final third with goals and assists, 13 of each to be exact. We will have to be at our very best to contend with these fantastic players.capital-one-cup-1600x900304-792656_1600x900
The team news for Tottenham coming into the match is that there are no absentees through suspension or injury. We have a fully fit and flying squad coming into the biggest game of the season, so this is a massive boost, and this has been the case for quite a while now. There are still decisions to make for Mauricio Pochettino, though; with just 18 players able to be selected I’m sure some players will be left disappointed and disheartened either on the bench or left out of the squad, and that is just one factor that Pochettino will have to deal with, hopefully his squad reflects who deserves to play and who hasn’t proved they are worthy. I think we all know, as much as we could, what Pochettino’s favoured eleven is, and I think we’ll have conformation this Sunday, as he simply must play his best side. There is no time for sentiment. I’m excited and slightly nervous to see what side Mauricio thinks is best to deal with Chelsea as well as having enough to win the trophy.

The cameras, pundits, journalists and fans will all have eyes on the most electric 21-year-old striker there is at Wembley this Sunday. Harry Kane’s rise to greatness has seen the young man lead his boyhood side to Wembley, and the fairy-tale would continue if the Englishman could find it within himself to knock down the last obstacle in his way and lead his side to Cup glory against our bitter London rivals. It has been a fantastic season for the striker no matter what happens at Wembley, but it would hit another level if the boy could grip hold of a major domestic trophy; it would be a beautiful site for every Spurs fan. With 24 goals and 5 assists this season, you simply can’t doubt that Harry Kane has all the attributes to become a Tottenham great, and he’s got a chance to cement his name in the Tottenham history books with this match, as silverware means the world to Spurs fans all over the world. If Harry Kane, the magical, unbelievable phenomenon can be the man to bring us glory once again, it would be extraordinary. Let’s hope he can deliver like we know he can. Up against John Terry and most likely Kurt Zouma, Kane will have a tough task, and we will need to get as much service to the striker as possible, and will be relying massively on our midfielders to find their passing range, and find the gaps to give Harry Kane the best chance of hurting the Chelsea back line – this responsibility to provide Kane with the best possible service lies mainly with the Danish Footballer of the Year, Christian Eriksen. The Dane, along with Kane, has massive expectation from the fans to perform. He hasn’t been at his peak in the last 4-5 games, but, in the biggest game of the season I’m sure he will step it up and find his highest gear to perform, he’s crucial to our success due to his creative spark and ability to find the net and the crucial pass. When Eriksen plays well, Tottenham play well; so let’s hope the man who has 11 goals and 4 assists so far this season. The partnership between Eriksen and Kane, if it can flourish on the biggest stage, will no doubt be very profitable for Tottenham – I hope both can hit their top levels.

There has been slight debate as to whether sentiment should prevail and Michel Vorm, the goalkeeper who played every game of our Capital One Cup campaign, should retain his spot for the final, but most believe that as this is our biggest game of the season, that our best team should play and that means Hugo Lloris, our number 1 goalkeeper, gets the nod. I think it’s a no-brainer; it has to be Hugo Lloris. As good as Michel Vorm is, Hugo is miles ahead of him, and as our captain, has to play in the final. I’m sure Michel Vorm will understand, as he’s been the first man to praise his goalkeeping rival. In midfield, Pochettino has even more big decisions to make, whether Mousa Dembele or Nacer Chadli plays as well as the Andros Townsend or Erik Lamela debate. It’s tough, but I think both players in both debates are worthy of a spot in the final, and it depends on which players Mauricio Pochettino feels are best to combat Chelsea’s threat. When we beat Chelsea 5-3, I thought Mousa Dembele, Andros Townsend and Nacer Chadli all played great games, and maybe that will weigh on the Boss’ mind. Winning the midfield battle will be key as well, as I say, Bentaleb and Mason have the ability to quash the Chelsea midfield with their tenacity and energy, and if thy are able to do that, then I think we will be one step closer to glory. In defence, the decision for who to partner Jan Vertonghen is another no-brainer for Pochettino; Eric Dier or Federico Fazio is the question but for me Eric Dier is the answer due to the partnership he has built with Vertonghen and his solidity, whereas I think Fazio is too prone to errors for such a big game.

It’s the biggest game of the season! A chance to end the 7-year trophy drought against our bitter London rivals at the home of football, Wembley. I can’t wait. I’m nervous, excited and just plain petrified of what is about to come our way, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! The game is of course live on Sky Sports 1, but follow me on twitter for live, comprehensive coverage of our biggest game of the season including goal updates, videos, photos and much more. Follow me at @AddictedToSpurs for it all. Spurs are on their way to Wembley, Tottenham’s gonna to it again! Up the Spurs! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred side to face Chelsea at Wembley:
4-2-3-1
Lloris
Walker – Dier – Vertonghen – Rose
Bentaleb – Mason
Lamela – Eriksen – Chadli
Kane.

Mauricio Pochettino previews our Cup Final against Chelsea:

Read my Q&A with Turnstyle Sport HERE.462425722.0

And also have a read of my article on how Harry Kane will affect the Cup Final for Unibet HERE.promo249317734

Match Review, Chelsea vs Tottenham.

Match: Wednesday 3rd December 2014.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Stamford Bridge.

Result: Chelsea 3-0 Tottenham.

Chelsea goalscorers: Hazard 19′, Drogba 22′ & Remy 73′.

It’s disappointing. We didn’t play badly, but we were expertly picked off by an exquisite Chelsea side. Probably the best we have faced in recent times. Even though they are quite brilliant, which is hard to admit, we should never lose three goals to nil to any side. There are always ways to stop goals, and we made mistakes leading to Chelsea’s 3 goals, but a top team take any half chances that come their way and Chelsea punished us and in 4 minutes, with one lapse in concentration from Aaron Lennon and Vlad Chiriches, and then a poor Hugo Lloris clearance and then a lack of strength from Jan Vertonghen and again we were punished. Ruthless stuff from what we have to admit is a superior team. I thought the performance was decent – but it wasn’t enough to break down Chelsea, and the energy that we had in the Everton game wasn’t quite replicated after the first Chelsea goal, as it was there before their goal. Weirdly we didn’t react at all well, which we did against Everton. It just wasn’t the same. Very tough to take.

In the first half, we started on flames – we pressed high, got the ball at our feet, found spaces, forced mistakes from the Chelsea team and it was great to watch. We created good chances, which on another day may have crept in, but we didn’t break the deadlock, which might have been the game plan; hit Chelsea early with a goal, then basically hold onto what you’ve got. But, we didn’t get that goal, and that was the difference between the teams. We couldn’t finish the half chances, whereas Chelsea finished everything off. It was Harry Kane who got those chances, and was very unfortunate not to score, first hitting the bar after a great Aaron Lennon dinked cross, and then Harry Kane created a chance for himself before sliding the ball past the post, instead of inside the post. Frustrating, as after those chances, Eden Hazard picked up the ball, played it softly into the path of the strong Didier Drogba, who saw Hazard continue his run, and picked him out before the Belgian fired the ball into the near post, to Hugo Lloris’ disappointment. It was against the run of play, and it looked as though Tottenham were a little shellshocked, and then Hugo Lloris made a poor clearance, and the ball was pinged straight into Didier Drogba’s path, who held off Jan Vertonghen with relative ease before guiding the ball into the back of the net on the 22nd minute. The half slightly fizzled out after that, with the game seemingly gone from Tottenham’s grasp, Chelsea looked rather comfortable.

In the second half, it was obvious that Tottenham were going to give it a good go. There wasn’t much to lose, and we had a lot of ball possession, but we did lack penetration and that clinical edge. We weren’t strong enough on the front foot and the Chelsea defensive structure was simply too good for us, I have watched a lot of teams, and a lot of football, but I haven’t seen such a compact, solid and well organised team for a long, long time, if not ever. I think credit has to go to Chelsea, as they are the best side in the League, both defensively and offensively. All of Tottenham’s probing, we didn’t find enough clear cut chances and that is disappointing, and then Chelsea kicked dust over the dead body when Loic Remy took advantage of another piece of poor Jan Vertonghen defending and slid the ball into the back of the net. After the third goal, the game faded even more and both teams were comfortable with their fate – Tottenham were going to lose and Chelsea were going to win, and that was that really. Unfortunate, but the better side win.

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I don’t want to focus on the negatives from this game. I think we played really well against Everton, and coming into this game is was a free shot. Not a lot was expected of Tottenham, even though we all wanted it to be a different, this Chelsea side is the finished product and we are a working progress. For me, Harry Kane played another incredibly good game, and he continues to get better and better each game, showing qualities that I had no idea he possessed. Committing defenders, barging past players and linking play really well as the leading striker. His energy, enthusiasm and work rate are phenomenal, all that was lacking was a goal from the man, and he was unlucky not to get what he deserved. It was another youth product that also impressed me; Nabil Bentaleb showed his composure, class and potential in this game. I thought he was great, and I can’t wait to see more of him in this side, he can get this side moving, find passes, uses his energy and positive mentality to win the ball back and at only 20 years old he has massive potential, and I predict him to become an ever present in the Tottenham side in years to come, starting now! Other mentions can be for Federico Fazio, who was very composed at the back and is now he has started to settle, looks a very solid centre back, but it was disappointing to see Jan Vertonghen let him down alongside him in the key moments. It would be harsh to pick out Vlad Chiriches and criticise him, because he isn’t playing in his position, and was up against the best winger in the League in Eden Hazard, so it’s hard to say he should have done better as the odds were up against him from the start.

Always difficult to take, losing heavily to one of our biggest rivals, but I think the scoreline does represent the gap between the two sides, unfortunately. We are at the start of a project, and Chelsea, with the financial backing and pure quality in the squad, have all the ability to win any trophy this season. You have to give them credit, they are a force to be reckoned with, not just in the Premier League, but in Europe as well. Spurs will have to take the positives from the game and move on very quickly, onto what is a must win game against Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane on Saturday 6th December. Those games are where you get most of your points, against the team’s below you at home. Hopefully we can put in a good performance and put this result to the back of our minds. Everyone, stick together, a loss to Chelsea doesn’t define our season. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Chelsea at the Bridge:
Lloris – 4.5
Chiriches – 4
Fazio – 6.5
Vertonghen – 4.5
Davies – 6
Lennon – 6 (Chadli 58′ – 6)
Mason – 5 (Paulinho 58′ – 6)
Bentaleb – 7
Eriksen – 6
Lamela – 4.5 (Soldado 74′ – 5)
Kane – 8 – Man of the Match.

Mauricio Pochettino reacts to the 3-0 loss to Chelsea:

The 3 Chelsea goals, for you cynics out there:

Match Preview, Chelsea vs Tottenham.

Match date & time: Wednesday 3rd December 2014. 7:45pm GMT KO.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Stamford Bridge.

TV: Not televised in the UK. Worldwide TV listings HERE.

If you look at every fixture in the Premier League, the most difficult game on the list is probably Chelsea away from home. In the form that Chelsea are in, it is difficult to see them losing at any point, especially at home, where their form is nothing short of spectacular so far this season, both in the Champions League and the Premier League. So, what are the chances of Tottenham going to the Bridge, and bringing home the three points? I’m not going to lie to you; they’re slim, but we can take hope in the last two results of both clubs. Chelsea looked rather unspectacular as they drew 0-0 with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, whereas Tottenham are coming into the game after arguably our best performance of the season, beating Everton 2-1 at White Hart Lane. This is a different prospect, though, Chelsea are at home, and with this being a London Derby, the desire to win will be even higher, with Chelsea wanting to quickly eradicate any sort of bad form with a win, and Tottenham being eager to create a run of results and good performances, and with a win in a London Derby, against the League leaders, could really kickstart our season, if the Everton performance didn’t do that already. Consistency is key to any success in any season, and at this moment in time, looking at the start to the season, we have really lacked the ability to create a good run of results – but there is a good opportunity for us, with 3 wins on the bounce against Hull City, Partizan and Everton, coming into the Christmas period we may even be classed as in good form if we can get a result at the Bridge and then a win against Crystal Palace. At that moment, our season is looking much more rosy and confidence is much higher. It’s easier said than done, though, and coming into the busiest time in the football calendar, we have a massive challenge ahead – going to Stamford Bridge, and walking out with something to show for it.

Chelsea are top of the League, unbeaten, scoring the most goals and conceding the second fewest. Not only are they unbeaten in the League, they are unbeaten in the Champions League and also are still in the Capital One Cup. As Jose Mourinho has said, it’s the makings of a perfect season. But, while unbeaten, and in this electric form, they are a target to shoot at, nobody expects anyone to beat them, everyone is the underdog when facing them, so with that tag, the pressure lifts and possibly the freedom to attack and play well is easier to come by. Hopefully Tottenham can revel in the underdog status rather than crumble. In past times, Chelsea have got the best of Tottenham, our record is dire and getting a result has been nothing short of impossible at times. But, with every game there is a new opportunity to break the cycle, and change our Chelsea fortune. Last time out against the Blues, it was a torrid evening at the Bridge. A 4-0 defeat, goals coming in the second half from Samuel Eto’o, Eden Hazard (penalty), and a two minute brace in the 88th and 89th minute from Demba Ba. It was a difficult night, in which we capitulated as a team, even though our performance was good until the first goal, which came from an individual error. A debatable penalty was then given, an even more debatable red card, and then the game was gone with more individual errors from Sandro and Kyle Walker making the defeat emphatic. In hindsight, we were probably a bit unlucky to be beat in the way we were, but it’s in the past and I think as a club, we have moved on from last season, and are very focused on the future. After the Everton win, I think a lot of fans have seen fighting spirit, ability to dig in, and also quality defensively, in midfield and offensively. It was a great result and performance and hopefully we can take the momentum of that victory into starting fast against the League leaders and getting some sort of result. At this point, if you offered me a draw, I’d still definitely take it though! What is most important for this game is that we stay tight at the back, limit individual errors to an absolute minimum, and put in a big, big shift in order to try and force a result. The Arsenal performance and Everton performance are the way we want to see the team play – as a team.

The only injury concern for Chelsea is that only young Nathan Ake (hamstring) is out of the game. While top scorer Diego Costa (suspended) won’t feature, which is a big deal, as his form this season has been magnificent, and with him in the Chelsea side, they become even more difficult to contain. They will miss his strength, prowess and finishing, but Didier Drogba or Loic Remy will come in, and we know they provide a big threat as well – but neither are World Class like Diego Costa. Eden Hazard is a wonderful player; a truly magnificent talent that can win you a game in an instant. He can score goals, assist, create attacks and everything else you’d expect a fantastic flair to provide you – I think he’s up there with the best players in the Premier League, and maybe even the world. Creative, talented players are right through the core of the Chelsea side, and the player that makes it all tick is Cesc Fabregas – he only has 1 goal this season, but he has a massive 10 assists and that is top of the assist charts. He is the focal point of the Chelsea attack and can cut any defence open with killer passes – he is incredibly dangerous, especially in the final third. Defensively, Chelsea are just as impressive as they are in attack – which is why they are at the top of the League. Sweeping up in front of the back four is the formidable Nemanja Matic, who in my opinion, is one of the best defensive midfielders in the League, and his ability on the ball is great; he’s composed, and creative when he needs to be. He can command a midfield, too, which is what you want from a holding player. The centre back partnership of John Terry and Gary Cahill is extremely tight, and the understanding between the two defenders is massive. They can make it very difficult for an opponent to score, and when they do let a chance through, Thibaut Courtois is in goal, who is a massively talented ‘keeper, who can dominate his area and make some spectacular saves.

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The team news for Tottenham is that Kyle Walker (match fitness) remains out, with Etienne Capoue, Emmanuel Adebayor, Andros Townsend and Danny Rose doubts after missing the last three games, and now joined by another doubt in Vlad Chiriches who was subbed against Everton after picking up a knock. Kyle Naughton returns from his two match suspension, and Nacer Chadli and Younes Kaboul look fully ready after being on the bench against Everton on Sunday. After the performance on Sunday, I wouldn’t anticipate many, if any changes to line up, except ones that are forced, with Kyle Naughton replacing Vlad Chiriches.

After the team’s fantastic display against Everton, it’s all about keeping that standard of performance up, delivering an even better performance at the Bridge and then hopefully coming away with a result! The hard work put in on Sunday was massive, we fought for every ball, second ball and loose ball there was and now Mauricio has the challenge of rallying the troops once again, bang the drum, and push hard once again in what is a difficult challenge with the games so close together. One of the stand out performances was that of Nabil Bentaleb; who’s energy and enthusiasm was a massive part of the victory, with composure and elegance on the ball as well to top it off. Alongside Ryan Mason, they have a very good understanding of each other, and one that brings a load of energy to the side. As the heart of the team, it’s important that the centre of midfield is ticking, moving the ball quickly and snapping at the heels of the opposition when it’s lost. Against Chelsea, with the intricate abilities of Fabregas, and the brute strength of Matic, it’s going to be very difficult for them to get a hold of the ball and be positive with it. It’s a massive ask of two fairly inexperienced players, if picked to do the job again. Some would call for an Etienne Capoue or Benjamin Stambouli to come into the side, and guard the back four, but after the performance on Sunday it’s going to be very hard for Pochettino to drop anyone. Offensively, Roberto Soldado and Harry Kane look likely to continue their striking partnership, with Harry Kane dropping a little deeper. It’s Kane’s job to drive the attack forward centrally and cause problems for the Chelsea defence, and Soldado’s job to find space, use his technical ability to bring Kane, Eriksen and Lennon into the game, and hopefully, score more goals! I think Harry Kane will be asked to drop deeper still, and then act as another midfield player at times, while Christian Eriksen and Aaron Lennon will need to execute their defensive jobs just as well as their offensive jobs with the quality that Chelsea have on the wings and in the full-back positions. It’s difficult not to bring in Nacer Chadli after his incredible start to the season, and even though he’s probably more suited to the left hand side than Christian Eriksen, you can’t take Eriksen out because he’s in such great form himself. It’s a nice situation to be in, though!

Match stats and facts provided by Opta:

– Chelsea have won 28 and lost just one of the last 34 Premier League games at Stamford Bridge.

– Tottenham have lost just one of their last six Premier League away games (W3 D2 L1).

– Tottenham have not won away at Stamford Bridge in any competition since February 1990 when Gary Lineker scored the winning goal in a 2-1 win (W0 D10 L17).

– Jose Mourinho’s side have kept 11 clean sheets in their last 14 Premier League home matches.

– Chelsea have lost only one of their last 17 Premier League London derbies (W12 D4); this coming in a 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace in March.

– Chelsea have won all three Premier League games that they have conceded the first goal in this season.

– Chelsea and Spurs have both won the most points from losing positions in the Premier League this season (9).

– Didier Drogba has scored three goals and assisted four more in his last eight Premier League games against Spurs.

– Chelsea are now unbeaten in all 20 of their competitive matches in 2014-15 (W15 D5).

– Spurs have won three of their last four Premier League games (W3 L1); this after winning just three of their previous nine in the competition under Mauricio Pochettino (W3 D2 L4).

A big London Derby! Our record against the top four isn’t good, so I think it’s time we changed the record! It’s a massive, massive game and call me crazy, but I’m looking forward to it! Being the underdog gives you endless possibilities of joy and success at the end of it. Hopefully we’ll be the ones celebrating this Wednesday evening. The game isn’t televised, but I’ll be providing updates on Twitter, follow me there at @AddictedToSpurs for photos, videos, goal updates and much more during the big game! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge:
4-2-3-1
Lloris
Naughton – Fazio – Vertonghen – Davies
Mason – Bentaleb
Lennon – Kane – Eriksen
Soldado.

Mauricio Pochettino speaks to the press ahead of the Chelsea game:

Match Preview, Chelsea vs Tottenham.

Match date & time: Saturday 8th March 2014. Kick off 5:30pm.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Stamford Bridge.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1.

It’s a big one! A London derby to start off what is an extremely difficult March period for Spurs, the games are going to be coming thick and fast and this is when our Champions League credentials will be tested to the max; if we can win it will send a message, it will give the players confidence that they can make the top four, and it could also give our Europa League campaign a boost. The game is massive, for Chelsea’s title hopes and our Champions League hopes, but I think a loss for Chelsea is much more detrimental to them than a loss for us would be; as Sherwood has touched on in his press conference (below), we go to Chelsea without fear, without expectation and with the pressure off from the media; if we are to lose, it’s expected and wouldn’t be a shock, which means the pressure is on for Chelsea to conform to that, we’re going there to win, for sure, but we can play with freedom and with the expectation from the footballing world off, but obviously the pressure from the fans still firmly on. Hopefully, the underdog status will suit us as it has in the past, and we can cause a stir up at the top of the table. The last time we faced Chelsea, we got a 1-1 draw under AVB, in the very early part of the season with both sides still jelling under new conditions, with Chelsea it was a change of manager and with Spurs a change of squad, so the coming game will see for sure who has progressed under their new changes and who has fallen behind! We have the opportunity to make history; we are yet to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League era, so I think we are due a win!

Chelsea are top of the Premier League 4 points clear at the top, although Manchester City have two games in hand. It’s been a great season under Jose Mourinho, only losing 3 games out of the 28 played, less than anyone in the League, and so beating them is going to be a massive challenge. Chelsea are unbeaten at home under Jose Mourinho in the Premier League, and that makes our challenge even harder, but hey, To Dare is To Do as the famous saying goes. The team news for Chelsea is that Eden Hazard is fit even after picking up a knock with Belgium, but Ashley Cole, David Luiz and Marco Van Ginkel are out of the game. The main threat for the Blues is Eden Hazard, he brings so much quality to Chelsea, he is quick, strong, skilful and his end product has improved so much this season, scoring 12 Premier League goals and getting 7 assists, even in the games against the big sides in which in the past he was prone to disappearing, he has been one of the best players in the League this season, no doubt about it. Along with Hazard, Willian is an extremely talented player, and it pains me that we were so close to his signature and failed to sign him, he’s been great recently for Chelsea. Andre Schurrle is also in great form, getting a hat-trick last time out against Fulham, so we have to keep those three as quiet as we can, a job for Sandro.

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The team news for Spurs is that Erik Lamela (thigh/back), Vlad Chiriches (back), Etienne Capoue (ankle) and Danny Rose (knee) have been ruled out of the game, which is a big blow, with Christian Eriksen (back) and Zeki Fryers (ankle) doubts, facing late fitness tests, so we hope for the best in those tests. The good news is that Kyle Walker, Younes Kaboul and Gylfi Sigurdsson return to action after injuries, a massive boost. The return of Kyle Walker is massive, if he starts it gives us something we have badly missed recently, a powerful, pacey threat on the right hand side, and Walker being able to defend against Eden Hazard, and not Kyle Naughton. Kyle Walker has been one of our most impressive players this season, hopefully he can come back into the side and put in a good performance. With Younes Kaboul possibly being put into the starting 11, it gives us a big lift; he is a rock at the back and gives others around him a lot of confidence, he is likely to pair up with captain Michael Dawson, with Jan Vertonghen moving over to left back with Fryers a doubt and Danny Rose out. I really hope Christian Eriksen makes it, I have a feeling he will shake off the knock and play, as the injury is hardly serious and I’m sure he could definitely play a part, it would be another boost for us if he could play, on the left or in the hole. Although Soldado scored against Cardiff, it would be best that he doesn’t start, and Paulinho plays in-behind Emmanuel Adebayor, because Chelsea play three brilliant midfielders, and so we may need to counter that with Sandro, Paulinho and Dembele who can rival any midfield trio, this protects against being overrun in the centre. Paulinho gives a lot when he plays higher up, much better than when he plays deep. If Eriksen is fit, I’d play him instead of Paulinho though.

Match facts provided by Opta

– 5 of the last 7 meetings between these teams have finished level, including three 1-1 scores.

– Chelsea’s 9 games this season against the current top 7 have featured just 15 goals.

– 5 of Chelsea’s last 9 matches have been goalless at half-time.

– Spurs have won the second half in 12 of their last 20 away games – the best record in the league.

– Chelsea have won 2-1 in 5 of their last 7 home games against top-six teams.

– Chelsea have picked up the most points on home soil in the Barclays Premier League (38) this season.

– No team have earned more points away from home in the Barclays Premier League than Tottenham (29).

– Chelsea have scored first in their last five matches.

– Gylfi Sigurdsson (Spurs) has scored 2 goals against Chelsea in his last 2 appearances against them.

– Emmanuel Adebayor has 11 goals in 17 appearances, level with Roberto Soldado who has 11 goals in 30 appearances.

Hugeeee game! It’s always a tense and passionate affair when Chelsea face Spurs, the rivalry is fierce and I think we can take confidence that anything can happen in a London derby, so let’s hope luck is on our side and we can get the win! I will be providing match updates, including goal updates, videos, pictures and vines at my twitter account @AddictedToSpurs. Let’s get three points!! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to face Chelsea at the Bridge:
4-2-3- 1
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Kaboul – Vertonghen
Sandro – Dembele
Lennon – Paulinho – Sigurdsson
Adebayor

Tim Sherwood talks to the press ahead of our game against Chelsea:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Chelsea.

Match: Saturday, 28th September 2013

Premier League

What a game we have in prospect here. A London derby between two sides who are expected to be challenging for the coveted Champions League spots, and maybe even the Premier League. The game is being built up as ‘The Master vs The Apprentice’, in other words Jose Mourinho vs Andre Villas Boas. They both go back a long time with similarities in their approach to the game being made constantly. They are phenomenal coaches, but there is a sense of a rift between the two, it doesn’t seem that they are friends anymore, for us fans it’s great to see rivalry and for the coaches it’ll add a little tension into the game, if you can fit any more in to a game of this magnitude that is! We’ve had a great start to the season and a win against our fierce rivals would make it even better. I’m very much looking forward to the task ahead.

Chelsea are a very solid team with exceptional players. Their start hasn’t been great, with criticism coming from the media about Jose Mourinho’s style of play and decisions to leave out quality players like Juan Mata and David Luiz. Despite all the critical views, they sit in fourth place with ten points out of a possible fifteen, two points behind ourselves in second. The threats they have to try and hurt us are strong. Eden Hazard hasn’t impressed this season so far, but he’s a gifted player who can cause defences lots of problems with his skill and trickery, how Kyle Walker deals with him on our right hand side could be crucial. Juan Mata, if he plays, is another player who in the whole can create chances and be a nuisance to defenders. Our defensive midfielders are key to stopping him, or Oscar if he gets the nod. Defensively I feel we have the quality to contain them, but we need to be fully concentrated. Great team, but their striker situation will be a worry as no striker has scored for them this season.

20130927-175034.jpg
Midfielder Paulinho has been in sensational form, scoring two goals in the last two games against Cardiff in the Premier League and Aston Villa in the League Cup. He’s shown so far that he’s certainly worth the £17 million price tag, hopefully he can continue his scoring form and general domination of the midfield against Chelsea. There are a few selection headaches that AVB will have for this one. Jermain Defoe and Lewis Holtby have been in scintillating form, scoring goals and creating chances for others. Lewis Holtby gained three assists against Aston Villa and has shown why we brought him in last January window, the way he can spot a pass is great to watch and his passion something all the fans love him for, it’s hard to fit him in though with Eriksen one of the first names on the team sheet at the moment. Hopefully André can find a place for him. Jermain Defoe is unlikely to start, with Soldado ahead of him in the ranking, he’s in good goalscoring form but I do prefer Soldado as he helps the team out more with his link up play, it will be hard to keep Defoe out if Soldado doesn’t hit goal scoring form soon though… I think Sandro has been very good in the games he has played this season, whether to play Dembele or Sandro is yet another decision to make for Villas Boas, both give so much to the team, I fancy Sandro as he gives us more defensive security. Erik Lamela should get his first Premier League start this weekend, this will bring us a lot of creative talent and he scored last time he faced them in a pre season friendly, hopefully he can do the same at the Lane! Danny Rose has a 90% chance of making the game as he recovers from his injury, would be a big boost to have him back.

An exciting game awaits. I’m sure the Lane will be absolutely rocking. The match is being shown live on BT Sport 1, with kick off at 12:45pm. Let’s get this win that would mean so much to everyone involved to the club. COYS!!

Match Facts provided by Opta from tottenhamhotspur.com

Chelsea have not failed to score in three successive Premier League away games since April 2002.

The last three competitive meetings between Tottenham and Chelsea have produced a total of 16 goals in total (an average of 5.3 per game).

Tottenham have conceded more Barclays Premier League home goals to Chelsea (38) than any other team.

Chelsea have only conceded 22 goals in 21 Premier League outings at White Hart Lane.

Five of Tottenham’s last six Barclays Premier League games have ended 1-0 (W4 L1).

No team in Europe’s top five leagues has conceded fewer goals than Spurs this season (1).

Spurs have fashioned more goal attempts from open play (60) than any other team this season but have scored only three of them.

None of Chelsea’s strikers have scored a Barclays Premier League goal yet this season.

If this game is a draw then Chelsea will have made the same start as they did in 2007-08 when Jose Mourinho departed after six Premier League matches.

Chelsea haven’t scored more than two goals in any of their last 11 Premier League games.

My predicted/preferred team to face Chelsea at White Hart Lane:
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Vertonghen – Rose
Paulinho – Sandro
Lamela – Eriksen – Holtby
Soldado