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Chelsea vs Tottenham – Premier League Match Preview

Match Preview – Chelsea take on Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League this evening as London rivalries resume at Stamford Bridge.

Both teams need three points to keep alive their ambitions of reaching European competitions, while Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino welcomes his former team to West London for the first time.

Here is everything you need to know about Thursday’s game.

Form

Chelsea: DWLLD

Chelsea’s season has been riddled with inconsistency and the best and worst of Mauricio Pochettino’s team has been on show in recent weeks. The club’s 6-0 thrashing of Everton on April 15, in which Cole Palmer scored four times, hinted at what can happen when everything clicks, though the Blues have since gone three games without a win.

That run includes a semi-final exit to Manchester City in the FA Cup and a 5-0 humiliation at Arsenal, with the latter result having ramped up the pressure on Pochettino’s position. A fightback from two goals down at Aston Villa last time out saw Pochettino praise the spirit of his team, though it’s no doubt been a disappointing campaign for an expensively assembled, if injury-hit, squad at Stamford Bridge.

Palmer has been the shining light amid much mediocrity and has now scored 20 goals in the Premier League this season. The 21-year-old is one behind Erling Haaland in the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot, in what has been a breathtaking breakthrough campaign.

Decimated by injuries at present, Pochettino has said Thursday’s game could be a chance for academy players to feature in a matchday squad. There was better news on Levi Colwill and Christopher Nkunku, however, each of whom have returned to training.

 

Tottenham: WDWLL

Back-to-back defeats have damaged Tottenham’s hopes of a top-four finish this season, after following a 4-0 thrashing at Newcastle with a 3-2 defeat in the North London derby. Spurs found themselves 3-0 down at half-time in a Premier League game against Arsenal on home soil for the first time, before adding respect to the scoreline after the break.

Ange Postecoglou said he’s looking at the broader picture in terms of improvement but a vulnerability from set-pieces will be a concern. Arsenal scored twice from dead balls last weekend and Spurs have now conceded 12 times from set-pieces, excluding penalties, this season. Only Aston Villa (14) have conceded more set-piece goals among teams in the top half, while only Manchester United (11.1) and Sheffield United (11.0) have a higher expected goals against from defensive corners than Spurs (10.6) in the entire division.

Teams have targeted goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario, who for all his excellence this season has looked shaky on set pieces.

Last Meeting

Tottenham 1-4 Chelsea, 06/11/2023

The reverse meeting proved to be one of the games of the Premier League campaign, a chaotic contest that saw Spurs ravaged by bad luck and ill-discipline.

Dejan Kulusevski had fired Spurs in front after six minutes before Son Heung-min had a goal disallowed to double the lead. Incredibly, it was one of FIVE disallowed goals between the two teams on a compelling night of action.

The game swung when Cristian Romero was sent off on 33 minutes for a rash challenge in the area and Cole Palmer confidently converted the resulting spot-kick. Having already seen Micky van de Ven and James Maddison withdrawn with serious injuries before half-time, Spurs were then reduced to nine men when Destiny Udogie was dismissed early into the second half.

Postecoglou implemented a bold high line with Guglielmo Vicario used as a sweeper, though Chelsea cracked the code when Nicolas Jackson tapped in on 75 minutes. Jackson then exploited the space in behind nine-man Spurs to complete a hat-trick with two goals in stoppage time, as the hosts suffered a first Premier League defeat under Postecoglou.

Predicted Lineups

Chelsea: Petrovic; Gilchrist, Chalobah, Badiashile, Cucurella; Caicedo, Gallagher, Palmer; Madueke, Mudryk, Jackson.

Spurs: Vicario; Porro, Romero, Van de Ven, Davies; Bissouma, Bentancur, Maddison; Kulusevski, Son, Richarlison.

Who is the referee?

Robert Jones.

What channel is Chelsea v Spurs on?

UK and Ireland: Sky Sports Main Event and Premier League.

What time is kick-off?

19:30 BST, May 2nd 2024

Odds

Chelsea – 5/4

Draw – 14/5

Spurs – 19/10

Read – Ranking the best young players in world football right now

See more – Ranking the five favourites to sign Viktor Gyokeres

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