NEWS

Table-topping Chelsea aim to end Spurs unbeaten run

November 25, 2016

There are few rivalries likely to excite Chelsea fans as much as the one with Tottenham Hotspur. While Spurs may regard Arsenal as their most traditional rivalry, there is no doubt which team the Blues' fans most like to beat.

Whether in the Shed End or enjoying the finest Stamford Bridge corporate hospitality, the fans will be up for this one and, not for the first time, tomorrow's (November 26th) fixture takes place with the Premier League title very much up for grabs.

Of course, two seasons ago it was the Blues who were cruising to glory, already looking good at the top of the league before Spurs arrived in December 2014 and left with their tails between their legs after being defeated 3-0.

Last season saw something of a role reversal, as it was Spurs who were challenging for the title in early May. As the last side in with a mathematical chance of catching Leicester City, they arrived at the Bridge with nothing less than victory being good enough to keep them in the hunt.

On that occasion, it looked like Spurs were going to record a rare victory in west London as they took control and raced into a 2-0 lead. However, Chelsea fought back hard in the second half, with Gary Cahill halving the deficit before the hour mark. Then, with seven minutes to go, Eden Hazard scored with a brilliant finish that sparked joyous scenes around Stamford Bridge. The match ended in fractious circumstances as tempers boiled over, with Spurs knowing their title hopes had been extinguished, and how the home fans loved it.

This season, however, both sides are very much in the hunt. Chelsea sit on top of the Premier League with 28 points, following six successive wins. Every one of them has come with a clean sheet, suggesting Antonio Conte's 3-4-3 system could prove a conundrum no team can solve.

Spurs are back in fifth place, but only four points behind the Blues in what is turning into one of the closest title races on record. Moreover, they have yet to lose a Premier League game and showed off their title credentials last month by beating Manchester City 2-0 at White Hart Lane.

Ending Spurs' unbeaten run would be another big boost for Chelsea, as it would put them seven points clear of their rivals. The home side will also have had the benefit of another midweek off after not qualifying for Europe, while Spurs were being knocked out of the Champions League in Monaco. Indeed, the visitors are currently on course to finish third in their group, meaning they could face the burden of Europa League football in early 2017.

For now, however, the focus will be on seeing whether the two sides with the best defences in the Premier League can produce another game of high drama. The stakes may not be quite as high as they were last May, but the atmosphere is sure to be white hot.

Chelsea fans who love their London derbies can also book hospitality for Premier League home games later this season against Arsenal on February 4th and Crystal Palace on April 1st, while the visit of Manchester City on April 5th will be another highlight.

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