Last chance. Spurs enter their London derby today knowing that anything but a win will hand the league title to Leicester City. The stakes are high on both sides, as a loss against Chelsea would leave Arsenal just two points behind Spurs with two games to play. The test will be on for Spurs to maintain their second place holding and push Leicester City, knowing that a tie on points could favor a Spurs team that currently has a nine goal advantage in goal differential. But Spurs will be shorthanded for the remainder of the season, as Dele Alli begins his three game suspension for his punch against West Brom, while Eric Dier is a major doubt as he recovers from a concussion he suffered last Monday.
Spurs travel to West London to face a Chelsea team sitting in 10th place on 47 points. This season has been a major disappointment for a Chelsea team that planned to compete for the league title. Manager Jose Mourinho was replaced in December by Guus Hiddink on an interim basis, but the new manager has not been able to achieve great results, posting a win percentage of just 43%. Chelsea has been felled by a defense that has allowed 20 more goals than Spurs' defense. Chelsea's defense should be boosted as John Terry and Gary Cahill return, while Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas feature in central midfield. There will be goal threats that Chelsea brings to the table, as Diego Costa, Pedro, Eden Hazard, and Willian are all established scorers.
Can Spurs stop Leicester City from taking the title with a win over Chelsea? We shall see.
How to Watch
Date/time: Monday, May 2, 2016, 8:00 p.m. (UK), 3:00 p.m. ET (USA)
Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, UK
Official: Mark Clattenburg
TV: NBC Sports Network (USA), Sky Sports 1 (UK), Sportsnet (Canada), Fox Sports 4 (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)
Radio: Audio streamed at tottenhamhotspur.com, also BBC Radio London and TalkSport
The big task for Mauricio Pochettino during the rest of the season will be replacing Dele Alli, who will miss out with a three game ban. Son Heung-Min seems most likely to be the main replacement for Alli, but another replacement may be needed with Eric Dier a doubt after suffering a concussion against West Brom last Monday. We believe Ryan Mason is the most likely starter if Dier sits, but we have not had to see Pochettino play without Dier much this season, so his roster selection is a doubt.
As for the Prediction League, only Skipjack foresaw Spurs drawing with West Brom, keeping Matthew in the lead. The rules remain the same in the Prediction League -- one point for a correct prediction and a bonus point for getting the score correct. Here are the current standings:
|Earl of Shoop||16|
Dustin Menno: Deep down do I think Spurs will win this? No. But damned if I'm going to pick Chelsea here. 4-0 Spurs. YOLO.
Skipjack: 2-2 Draw, because God is capricious and cruel.
Ben Daniels: We beat the crap out Chelsea last year when they were better and we were worse. I know this one's at Stamford Bridge and we haven't won there in a zillion years but I don't care. 3-0 Spurs
Luke Zimmerman: I STILL BELIEVE. 1-0, Spurs. Ugly as sin game. Proper f*** Chelsea.
Earl of Shoop: This just feels like a draw. We're better but we could be down two (and are definitely down one) of our key players. Also it's Stamford Bridge, and who knows with this Chelsea. 1-1 Draw
Matt Pachniuk: Probably a draw, but I'm not going to stop with my overoptimistic predictions with three games left. Chelsea will be up for it, and Stamford Bridge is a dreadful place to play, but this team will put in a shift. We eek out a 2-1 victory. The glory will be even greater without Dele & Dier. 2-1 Spurs
Jake Meador: 1-1 Draw
GN Punk: Spurs haven't won since 1990 at Stamford Bridge. With Dier a question mark and Alli suspended, I'm not looking forward to watching the midfield battle. I think Spurs have goals in them, but so do Chelsea. 2-2 Draw
Brian Mechanick: This seems misery inducing. But for some reason I think Son and Kane score, and we get to die another day. 2-1 Spurs
Ed F.: Chelsea are going to do everything they can to be mean old party poopers in this one. 0-0 Draw, hope I'm wrong.
Bryan Ashlock: TBD