WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) previews a monstrous game from White Hart Lane. Chelsea look to match Arsenal's record for consecutive Premier League wins but a top class Spurs team stand in their way. Who breaks?
Tottenham v Chelsea | Wednesday 20:00 | Sky Sports 1
What a game we have in store for us at the Lane on Wednesday night.
Chelsea arrive on the back of 13 consecutive Premier League wins looking to match Arsenal’s record with victory over London rivals Tottenham. Whilst the latter have won four on the bounce and are showing their Champions League credentials once again.
There’s also the added spice of fiery tempers in this fixture over the last few meetings. In May these sides met at Stamford Bridge in what would be dubbed ‘The Battle Of The Bridge’ as 12 yellow cards were handed out, nine of them going to Spurs players as they pushed for the title.
When they met in November, Tottenham threatened to end Chelsea’s good form; going 1-0 up early and becoming the first side to score against the Blues in over 600 minutes of Premier League football. However, Chelsea completed the comeback and laid real claims to the title with that win.
Since then Antonio Conte and his players haven’t looked back. 13 successive league wins is a remarkable feat in any league but given the standard it’s perhaps even more impressive than The New Saints (TNS) of Wales’ 27 wins in a row in 2016 which broke Ajax’s 44-year record.
Diego Costa’s absence against Bournemouth turned out not to be a problem and with him back in the side they have no issues with the starting eleven.
As for Spurs they are only missing Erik Lamela and will be extremely grateful to have a full strength defence for the first time in a while.
Tough Nuts to Crack
On that note, defensive prowess has been key to both sides good seasons. Chelsea and Tottenham have the best rear-guard records in the league; conceding an average of just 0.68 and 0.74 goals per-game, respectively.
That could mean goals are hard to come by and in fact last time Chelsea went to White Hart Lane it finished goalless but taking a look at the head-to-head longer term would suggest otherwise.
Since the Premier League began in 1992, 137 goals have been bagged in the 49 meetings between these clubs; that’s an average of 2.80 a game.
That total has been helped considerably by some memorable games over the years, the 5-3 Spurs win in 2015 stand-outs in the memory but there’s also been a 4-4 draw and a 6-1 Chelsea victory too.
As for who’s been on the winning side it’s heavily weighted towards the Blues. They hold a supreme W27-D18-L4 record over their close neighbours. It’s a record that’s no longer pointed out as much as it once was but at one point Tottenham hadn’t beaten Chelsea in the league for 16 years.
Overall I believe Chelsea are more likely to win this and when I looked at the match odds I was a little surprised to see the team who are cruising at the top of the league as the underdogs; 9/5 with Bet365 seems far too generous to me.
I do however have a lot of respect for Spurs. They have lost just two games this season and recovered from their little autumn blip well. As a result, I’ll opt for Chelsea on the Asian Handicap +0 at 24/23 with BetVictor, essentially the same bet as Draw No Bet on the visitors, but better value.
I really cannot believe this is back-able at over even-money. On the head-to-head basis alone it’s a bet that would have lost less than 10% of the time in the Premier League era and this Chelsea side at the minute is arguably the best we’ve ever seen, better than Jose Mourinho’s back-to-back title winners from 2004 to 2006.
Tottenham v Chelsea – Chelsea +0 Asian Handicap (24/23 BetVictor)