Chelsea vs. Tottenham
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick off: 4PM
Chelsea will look to keep alive their top-four aspirations when playing host to Tottenham Hotspur in the pick of this weekend’s Premier League fixtures.
The Blues boast an impressive record against their London rivals at Stamford Bridge, but they head into the match on the back of a disappointing run of form and are in need of victory.
The two-week break has given defending champions Chelsea a chance to regroup following a hugely inconsistent start to 2018, which has seen them fail to win back-to-back matches in the Premier League.
Their title now relinquished, the Blues are left desperately fighting for a top-four spot in the league and requiring success in the FA Cup to salvage their season.
Even that, though, may not be enough to save Antonio Conte’s job in West London.
In fact, if reports are to be believed it is now just a matter of weeks until Conte is given his marching orders by demanding owner Roman Abramovich, who is said to have already lined up Luis Enrique to take over from next season.
Winning just seven of 18 matches in 2018, two of those via extra time or penalties, has seen the Blues drop out of the top four and exit the Champions League, leaving them with a maximum of 10 games to save face.
While Chelsea have struggled for momentum over the past few months, Tottenham have lost just two of their last 25 matches and are in a strong position heading into this match.
Mauricio Pochettino famously said earlier in the season that the FA Cup is well down his list of priorities, though following the Lilywhites’ cruel Champions League exit, winning domestic silverware is now surely a priority.
Finishing in the top four is a prerequisite for any domestic success, though, and as things stand it is Tottenham who are the strong favourites to edge out Chelsea for that final Champions League berth.
Chelsea possible XI: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso, Willian, Morata, Hazard.
Tottenham possible XI: Lloris, Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Lamela, Alli, Eriksen, Son.