The pick of the Premier League action this weekend is the big London derby between Tottenham and Chelsea on Saturday evening. The two sides are separated by just a point in fourth and third place respectively after twelve matches.
Both teams will be hoping for a clean bill of health following the International break. Harry Kane had a starring role in England’s 2-1 win over Croatia, sliding in a late winner to book a place in next summer’s finals. This is a crucial period for Spurs, both domestically and in the Champions League. They face Inter Milan here on Wednesday before making the short trip across North London to face Arsenal the following Sunday.
Spurs have put themselves in contention in the title race in recent years, only to fall away in the latter stages. Their recent hard-fought victories over Wolvers, PSV Eindhoven and Crystal Palace suggest that they have added a bit more mettle to their armoury. The clashes with Chelsea and Arsenal will test their ability to keep tabs on champions Manchester City and nearest pursuers Liverpool.
Maurizio Sarri has continually played down Chelsea’s title aspirations but they remain unbeaten in the league. They dropped two valuable home points when held to a goalless draw by Everton. Despite recent goals, Alvaro Morata remains less than convincing as Chelsea’s main striker. The Spaniard continues to squander more chances than he takes, a luxury that the Blues can ill-afford if they are genuine title contenders.
Eden Hazard started the match against Everton and was kept busy in midweek during Belgium’s shock defeat against Switzerland. He has been the inspiration for Chelsea’s best performances this season and is certain to play a key roll on Saturday. Sarri may opt to start with Willian on the bench and Pedro playing behind Morata.
The only previous occasion when the Blues remained unbeaten in 12 games was in 2014-15 when they went on to lift the title. If they can take something from Wembley, they have games against Fulham and Wolves before welcoming Manchester City to Stamford Bridge. A more realistic target for Sarri in his first season is a return to Champions League football.
The Premier League is taking on a familiar form with the big six gradually rising to the top. There is little between these two sides and it would be no surprise to see them cancel one another out.
Tottenham v Chelsea Betting Tips
A DRAW (3.40) looks the best option here, a result that would probably see both sides lose ground on their title rivals. 1-1 (6.0) is tipped as the final score with EDEN HAZARD (2.35) to score for the Blues.