Chelsea face Spurs this weekend in a 4pm Kick Off, with the teams currently in the top four positions playing each other on Sunday.
Spurs have had a good start to the season, winning four and losing one, last Sunday against Man United after going a goal up. In our most recent league loss, Redknapp’s side beat us last year at White Hart Lane, and one of Juande Ramos’ only two points last season was gained as his side drew with us early in the campaign at Stamford Bridge. We’ve not beaten them in the last four league meetings.
Our last match was our poorest display under Carlo Ancelotti, with too many wayward shots and the midfield not clicking our two main problems. Hopefully we don’t leave things as late as we did last weekend against Stoke.
Ancelotti has today announced that Joey Cole, Yuri Zhirkov and Paulo Ferreira are likely to feature in midweek against QPR, but not on Sunday, while Alex is also a doubt. Didier Drogba and José Bosingwa are back in action after their European suspensions and both are expected to start.
Michael Dawson, Luka Modric and Jonathan Woodgate are all out of tomorrows clash with long-term injuries, while unlucky mascot Gareth Bale is a doubt. Heurelho Gomes is expected to return to the squad after a short absence, and could get the nod ahead of Carlo Cudicini. Personally I felt that Gomes was excellent against us last season, collecting everything aerial and not performing any of his blunders he became infamous for. Jermaine Defoe is in a rich vein of form, but he hasn’t had to face the immovable force John Terry yet has he?
A win for us would set a new Premier League record for Chelsea, 11 in a row. Spurs winning by two or more goals would put them above us, while us not losing means they won’t have beaten us in the league in two decades at Stamford Bridge.
The referee on Sunday is Howard Webb, who has been in charge of three games so far this season, with the away side winning each time. The last Chelsea match he officiated was the FA Cup Final, where of course, the Blues ran out as winners. By coincidence, Webb was also reffing the aforementioned draw at the Bridge last season.
It is now a mammoth four games without a win against Spurs for Chelsea, with our last victory occurring back in January 2008, as Juliano Belletti and Shaun Wright-Phillips clinched a 2-0 at home. Since then it’s been two defeats and two draws, including an epic 4-4 in the League a couple of seasons ago.
But we don’t need to dwell on that! Although Spurs have been – and whisper it quietly – impressive so far this season, Manchester United put them in their place last weekend and by rights, we should too. Are Spurs really title challengers or just early-campaign flukes? We may find out on Sunday.
Cech, A. Cole, Terry, Carvalho, Bosingwa, Essien, Lampard, Ballack Malouda, Anelka, Drogba