Tottenham Hotspur will be hoping to keep their title hopes alive when they travel across London to take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this Bank Holiday Monday (8pm on Sky Sports 1).
Leicester City’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday means that Spurs still do have a mathematical, if unlikely, chance. Spurs must remain focused on the task in hand as they look to finish what has been a marvellous season strongly.
A 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion last Monday still looks to have put the title out of Tottenham’s reach, with Leicester’s 4-0 thrashing of Swansea City a day previously. Spurs are now eight points adrift of first place with only nine left to play for, but it is important that Mauricio Pochettino and his players do not give up. After all, it has still been a fine campaign for the north Londoners, who are on course for their first top-two finish, at least, since the early 1960s.
Chelsea, for their part, have little left to play for, although it is notable that their players and supporters have been rather vocal in voicing their desire to see Tottenham fall short in the race to be crowned champions. A Europa League place is now out of the question for the Blues, but they will still be keen to secure a top-half finish ahead of Italy boss’ Antonio Conte’s arrival at Stamford Bridge after the upcoming European Championship in France. It has been a dismal campaign for the team who swept all before them in 2014/15, but ending it on a high could help to build some much-needed momentum ahead of next term.
Tottenham will be without Dele Alli, who has been handed a three-match ban after being found guilty of violent conduct over an incident in which he appeared to punch West Brom’s Claudio Yacob on Monday. Midfield colleague Eric Dier could also miss out with a shoulder problem – Ryan Mason is likely to deputise in his place – while Nabil Bentaleb remains sidelined with a knee injury. Harry Kane (pictured) will be looking to add to the 24 strikes he has already notched this campaign, with Spurs still on course to finish the season with the most goals scored and the fewest conceded.
Guus Hiddink, meanwhile, will be unable to call upon the services of Loic Remy (groin) and Kurt Zouma (knee), although John Terry could return from the Achilles issue that has kept him out of the team since the 2-2 draw with West Ham United in the middle of March.
Diego Costa should get the nod ahead of Alexandre Pato up front, while John Obi Mikel is expected to move back into his customary position in the centre of midfield after beginning the win over Bournemouth in the heart of the Blues’ backline. Thibaut Courtois is available once more after suspension and could replace second-choice Asmir Begovic between the sticks.
Our Preview’s Chelsea v Tottenham Betting Tips Verdict
It was worth waiting until the outcome of Leicester’s trip to Manchester United before betting on this game. Spurs still do have a chance at the title and so will be hungry to win this game. However, even with Leicester failing to get the pivotal victory against Man Utd, a win at Stamford Bridge may be too big an ask for Tottenham. A 2-2 draw is therefore the leading tip for this encounter, with Pedro Rodriguez worth backing as an anytime goalscorer.