Former Tottenham Hotspur player Jermaine Jenas has carved out a pretty nice career lately as a football pundit, and has numerous appearances on Match of the Day and other venues to his credit. With Tottenham in the title race here at the close of the season, this also gives his opinions a little extra gravitas, as he's been at Spurs and knows the club well.
Recently he came out and talked about Chelsea's role in the Premier League title race. The Blues host both Spurs and Leicester City in the last four games of the season, and their performances could have a major impact on the final table position for both clubs. But speaking to George Riley on BBC 5 Live, Jenas seems to think that, given the choice, Chelsea would much rather beat Spurs than Leicester.
Do you think the Chelsea players would rather Leicester win the title?
One hundred percent. I mean, they're probably looking at what they've got left and saying 'you know, I don't care what happens the rest of the season, all I care about is [the Spurs match]. That's the one game that I'm going to make sure that I'm ready for and that I'm up for.' The fans will be thinking the same thing, the players on the pitch will be thinking the same thing.
But as a Spurs player, you know that. It's OK thinking all those things, you've still got to stop it happening. Spurs are at the peak of their powers at the minute, playing as well as I've ever seen them play, and they're driven by the opportunity to lift the trophy.
You look at that Chelsea team, they've got some world stars within their ranks. Is just stopping Spurs a big enough carrot to make them perform on that day? I think it is.
Jenas is 100% correct. This is known. No Spurs fan really expects that Chelsea will roll over in a London derby against Tottenham; in fact, I suspect that most people think that Chelsea will probably get at least a draw from this match. Spurs haven't won a league match at Stamford Bridge since 1990.
However, take the Chelsea vs. Tottenham match out of the equation for a second. Regardless of what Tottenham does against Chelsea, if we're honest with each other, Spurs fans' doomsday scenario is going into the final week of the season needing Chelsea to get a result against Leicester to win the title, and having Chelsea phone in the match. Considering the rivalry between the Blues and Spurs, it doesn't seem like an unfeasible situation.
Of course, you expect that players will be professional and do their job in that circumstance, but you do have to wonder whether Chelsea, in a possibly dead-rubber match, will relish an opportunity to be kingmakers and deny a London rival the chance to lift the Premier League trophy. A lot has to happen before we can even entertain the idea. But there's a non-zero percent chance of it happening.