Premier League: Spurs v Chelsea Preview

Jose MourinhoTottenham Hotspur and Chelsea have both gone undefeated through the Christmas period and both will want to continue that run in their meeting at White Hart Lane on New Year’s Day (17:30 GMT, live on BT Sport).

Spurs come into the match on the back of a five-match unbeaten run that has seen them move to within touching distance of fourth-placed Southampton. They are seventh in the Premier League table, with 31 points from nine wins, four draws and six defeats.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side survived a first-half onslaught from Manchester United to record a solid 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane on Sunday. Hugo Lloris had to be in fine form to keep the visitors at bay during the opening 45 minutes but Tottenham grew into the match thereafter and could even have taken all three points had Ryan Mason converted a good late chance.

Best Match Betting Odds
4/5 Chelsea (Bet365CoralBetVictorSkyBetBetfredLadbrokesWilliam Hill, Paddy Power)
29/10 Draw (Boylesports)
4/1 Spurs (Bet365, CoralBetVictorWilliam Hill, Boylesports)

It was only Spurs’ second clean sheet in their last 12 league matches but with Lloris performing well and Federico Fazio and Jan Vertonghen beginning to establish a relatively solid central partnership, Pochettino will be hopeful of improving that record in the coming months. More support from the full-backs and midfielders will be vital to doing so.

Pochettino will be keen to add to his attacking options during the January transfer window. Harry Kane is enjoying an excellent season but has begun to look a little heavy footed in recent matches, with neither Roberto Soldado nor Emmanuel Adebayor offering a compelling alternative. Kane and Christian Eriksen have scored eight of Spurs’ last 10 league goals.

Nabil Bentaleb missed Sunday’s match against United due to illness but should be available for the New Year’s Day fixture. Pochettino otherwise has no major injury concerns.

Chelsea make the short trip to North London on the back of a tetchy 1-1 draw away to Southampton on Sunday. They lead the way in the Premier League table, three points clear of Manchester City, with 46 points from 14 wins, four draws and one defeat.

The Blues made a slow start on Sunday, going a goal down inside the opening 20 minutes against a well-organised and determined Southampton side. The pattern of the match changed after Eden Hazard produced a superb equaliser in first-half stoppage time but Chelsea were unable to convert their superior second-half possession into a winner.

Jose Mourinho (pictured) will have been a little concerned that there was shades of last season in his side’s inability to fashion good-quality chances during the second half. Then, their inability to break down packed defences saw them drop points that could have propelled them to the title. On Sunday, however, it was more a case of excellent defending than poor attacking.

Indeed, the summer purchases of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa have largely alleviated Chelsea’s attacking problems, resulting in an increased goal output of 2.16 goals per match – up from 1.87 last season. When this is aligned to a strong defensive unit that has conceded just 14 times in 19 matches, it is easy to see why Chelsea are the bookies’ favourites in the Premier League betting for the title.

Like his counterpart, Mourinho has no confirmed injury absentees for the New Year’s Day fixture.

Spurs v Chelsea Betting Tips

Chelsea recovered from a slightly shaky start to win 3-0 in the league meeting between these sides at Stamford Bridge in early December. They also won 4-0 at home last season but were held to a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane. The last six encounters at Tottenham’s home have yielded two wins for Spurs, one for Chelsea and three draws.

Spurs held their own in the early exchanges at Stamford Bridge before a series of individual errors consigned them to defeat. They have gone undefeated in the five league matches following that loss and there are signs that the players are starting to perform with the intensity that Pochettino craves.

Chelsea have been very impressive so far this season, with both the joint-best scoring record and the best defensive record in the Premier League. While they currently have an 100% record at home, they have been a little less solid on their travels, drawing four and losing one of their 10 away matches to date.

That gives hope to Spurs that if they can perform at their best, a draw is an achievable result.

  • Back the draw @ 29/10 with Boylesports.
  • Spurs will be determined not to capitulate in the manner they did in defeat at Stamford Bridge and like their 0-0 draw at home to United on Sunday, we expect this to be a relatively tight and low-scoring encounter. Last season’s equivalent fixture ended in a 1-1 draw and we expect similar here. Back under 2.5 goals @ best odds of 10/11 with SkyBet, Coral, Ladbrokes or Betfair Sportsbook.
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