Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) shares his views on the New Year’s Day clash between Spurs and Chelsea at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham v Chelsea | Thursday 17.30 | BT Sport 1
Table-topping Chelsea have seen their lead at the top of the tree chipped away to just three points by Manchester City. Failure to win at Southampton last time out, couple with City’s surprise home draw against Burnley, means the title race remains alive and well as we enter 2015.
Next up is a trip to Spurs and Jose Mourinho’s side will be buoyed by the fact they’re unbeaten in nine games against their city rivals from the north of the capital (W5-D4-L0). However, Mou’s Blues have only W1-D4-L3 of their last eight trips to White Hart Lane and could be in for another tough encounter.
Why? Well firstly, Chelsea aren’t as robust as we might like to think on the road. The league leaders have failed to win half of their away games (W5-D4-L1) and only bagged one victory from their last four on the road.
Looking at their results since Mourinho returned and we can see that they’ve W15-D8-L6 away from home in the Premier League, equating to a 52% win ratio. It’s strong but probably not as strong as we might expect.
If we call Spurs a top-six side (they’re 7th at the moment but finished in that position last season), we can see that Chelsea have a W2-D4-L0 record when going away to clubs in the top-seven. Again, it’s good but certainly not unstoppable.
It’s taken Tottenham a long time to get going but they finally seem to be getting to grips with Mauricio Pochettino’s tutelage. Their sole defeat in eight came at Stamford Bridge and although Spurs have been far from the finished article, they’re becoming more adept at collecting results.
Chelsea are just 4/5 to win the match and that looks on the short side, to me. I’d be happier taking the 21/20 (Bet365) on Spurs in the Double Chance market – with this selection we’ll be in profit should the home side avoid defeat.
It’s also interesting to note that Chelsea have won every league game this season when scoring two or more goals (14/19) yet failed to win on the five occasions they’ve netted one or fewer (5/19). I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see Spurs get something here.
If you’d prefer a goals-based bet it’s worth noting that 10/11 meetings at White Hart Lane have produced goals for both sides. Both Teams To Score is nicely priced at 10/11 (William Hill) and has been a winner in 8/10 of Chelsea’s away Premier League games this season.
And those who put the two recommended bets might be interested to see BetVictor offering 7/1 on the 1-1 correct score. It’s been a winning in all three of Chelsea’s trips to top-seven clubs in 2014/15.
Tottenham v Chelsea – Tottenham Double Chance (21/20 Bet365)
Tottenham v Chelsea – Both Teams To Score (10/11 William Hill)