Could Tonight be the night? The night in which Chelsea make history. They have already equaled Arsenal’s feat of 13 successive Premier League victories and will now look to equal the Premier League record of 14. Should they be able to succeed in history making then their feat will arguably be better as it will come all in the same season.
But standing in their way of history are cross town rivals Tottenham who will look to spoil the party at White Hart Lane later this Evening. Not only that by Tottenham will be looking to recoup some revenge for the 2-1 defeat that they suffered at Stamford Bridge in November.
At the time of writing (Tuesday) Tottenham have once again fallen out back out of the Top 4 after Manchester City’s win on Monday against Burnley therefore this game is not just about stopping the all conquering Chelsea in their tracks but also regaining a much coveted Champions League spot.
And they moved back into the Top 4 on New Years Day after a 4-1 demolition of Watford at Vicarage Road. There were small concerns that a patched up defence may struggle against the likes of Troy Deeney and co, but they made easier work of their local rivals with the game all but wrapped up at half time.
That game saw Tottenham adapt a back three of Kevin Wimmer, Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier and they coped admirably with whatever Watford threw at them which in fairness was not all that much. The decision now is not only does he stick with the back three but whether or not he drafts back in Kyle Walker and Jan Vertonghen into the side.
You would imagine that the latter would certainly be the case but whether or not he aims to match Chelsea’s formation with a three at the back of his own remains to be seen. When Tottenham set out at Stamford Bridge with an extra man in midfield they cause Chelsea endless concern in the first half.
The only regret that Tottenham will have had is that they didn’t kill off Chelsea when they had the chance. With Chelsea on the ropes, Spurs failed to land the knockout blow and were subsequently punished by goals from Pedro and Victor Moses.
Arguably it was the only real period where Chelsea were on top but they took their chances and came away with all three points. Tottenham failed to get revenge for ‘The Battle Of Stamford Bridge’ and are still looking for a first win there since 1990.
Thankfully their record against Chelsea is better and you only have to go back to New Years Day of 2015 and that sensational 5-3 game at White Hart Lane where for many Tottenham finally started to come of age and the Pochettino era was beginning to take full swing.
In terms of era’s Antonio Conte’s progress at Chelsea has been rapid. Many column inches have been written about this side as they brush past nearly all in front of them and they have the chance to further extend their lead at the top of the table Tonight.
That’s because after Liverpool’s fantastic efforts on New Years Eve when they beat Manchester City they have now undone their hard work by dropping two points to Sunderland on Monday. Could you but it down to fatigue perhaps, will Chelsea also feel the strain of a busy festive period?
They perhaps showed a few signs on New Years Eve as they were made to work for a 4-2 win at home to Stoke. Twice Mark Hughes’ side drew level but Chelsea eventually found their extra gear to keep their winning run in tact. It may be the cliche but is this the sign of champions who are winning when not playing at their best.
You would imagine though that they will have to be at their best Tonight as Tottenham are certainly no slouches especially at home. They are still undefeated this season at White Hart Lane with their only league defeats coming at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford.
And Spurs will have to be wary of the fact that Manchester United are hot on their tails as the race for that 4th place hots up evermore what with Jose Mourinho’s side now undertaking an unbeaten run of their own. Although not as impressive as Chelsea’s is still stretches to 6 matches but it can’t see them move up the table.
Whoever drops points out of the Top 6 in any given week is punished further by the fact the other teams around them keep winning. These 6 have pulled clear and it’s now going to be a case of what will be the final order in regards to these teams.
Tottenham’s stint in the Champions League was a short one and they will want to get back to Europe’s top club competition at the most soonest opportunity, if they are to do so then they are going to need to pick up big wins such as this.
But this Chelsea side have been absolutely imperious since their 3-0 defeat to Arsenal in October. Since then they have not looked back as Antonio Conte changed the shape his side to a centre back trio. A formation that now many Premier League bosses are undertaking themselves.
Tonight sees the two meanest Premier League defences go head to head with just 27 goals combined between the two of them. That might indicate a tight defensive affair but these two sides also have a great nose for goal with Tottenham really picking up the scent as of late.
Many critics said that the only thing letting Spurs down was the fact they weren’t scoring enough but with 8 goals in their last two matches those critics have been silenced and they will go into this game full of momentum as they look to make it a perfect holiday season.
Can Chelsea go and get that all important win number 14 though. I’ve got to be really hard to be too influenced by Tottenham bias but I cannot see Spurs losing Tonight. That said I don’t think they will win either, I think it’s going to be a share of the points in what should be a pulsating London derby.
Neither side will come into this game wanting a draw but come the end they will probably just about be happy with it. Chelsea will be denied that record breaking win but Tottenham will no doubt feel that they need to keep winning games themselves. A share of the points for me.