Chelsea host Tottenham Hotspurs at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, March 8th (9:30 AM Pacific, 17:30 GMT). The London derby is crucial for both teams, Chelsea will look to keep a strong lead at the top of the table, while Tottenham will try to stay in Champions League contention.
Both teams are in a position for if they were to lose, they would still hold their current standings despite wins from other teams around the league.
Chelsea are coming off a 3-1 win against bottom team Fulham. An Andre Schürrle hat-trick secured a confident win that further boosted the Blues in the standings. Chelsea have only lost twice in their last 15 games, with those losses coming from Sunderland and Manchester City.
Tottenham Hotspurs on the other hand have suffered two losses in their past four games, coming from Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and Norwich City. Tottenham are known for getting dominated by top four teams this season. The Spurs will try to resist from cracking under the pressure of playing against a big squad.
The key player for Chelsea will be Samuel Eto’o. Schürrle’s hat trick is just another example of how ineffective Chelsea’s strikers have been this season. Ba has been left out of the squad as a starter and Torres has yet to prove himself. Eto’o faces yet another game to prove to Chelsea boss Mourinho that he is indeed a goal scorer.
The key player Tottenham will be Dembele. The Belgian will be facing up against a speedy and magical Chelsea midfield. He is known to be a rock in midfield and can certainly run through the field with his strength. If Demeble can contain the dominant Chelsea midfield, the Spurs may have a chance of holding a clean sheet.
Tim Sherwood, manager of Tottenham, will do his best to sway the reputation his team has gotten against top four teams. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will look to boost his reputation as a dominating team in the league. Every game is pivotal when it is this late in the season.
Both teams cannot afford to lose despite being in strong positions. I predict a 2-1 win for Chelsea. I would not be surprised to see a goal from Spurs, either from a quick break or a header. Emmanuel Adebayor is literally and figuratively an enormous threat against the Chelsea net. Chelsea will look to dominate possession and will ultimately play more appealing soccer.
The match will be televised on NBC Sports Network (USA), and Sky Sports 1 (UK).