Chelsea v Tottenham

29 April 2011 09:39
Chelsea have a fully-fit squad, with midfielders Michael Essien and Ramires and defender Alex all available after injury.Manager Carlo Ancelotti has suggested he will pair Fernando Torres with Didier Drogba in attack.

Tottenham defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto has been ruled out with a hamstring injury suffered last weekend.

Ledley King has a slim chance of making his first appearance since October after recovering from a groin problem.



Chelsea

Injured: None

Tottenham

Doubtful: Corluka (foot), King (groin/fitness)

Injured: Assou-Ekotto (hamstring), Hutton & Palacios (both knee), Khumalo (foot), Woodgate (calf)



MATCH PREVIEW Angst and ambition will be entwined at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. For either Chelsea or Tottenham - perhaps even both - this fixture will be a bridge too far.

I lost a title [with Juventus in 2000, after being] nine points up with eight games to go. It can happen. If we are able to win against Tottenham, I think we can put more pressure on Manchester United Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti Their respective targets are the championship and Champions League. Chelsea have no margin for error if they are to successfully defend the Premier League title, while visiting Spurs have little leeway in their pursuit of qualification for Europe's premier club competition.

They would be improbable achievements. Chelsea have not topped the table for five months and were only fifth prior to their current run of seven wins in eight games. They also face trips to Old Trafford, where Manchester United are unbeaten this season, and a rejuvenated Everton. Nonetheless, Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti remains hopeful amid continuing speculation that he will lose his job regardless of the title outcome.

Tottenham must still visit Champions League rivals Manchester City and Liverpool, but it is their failure to beat relegation-threatened sides at home that has undermined them. One win in seven has left Spurs with a four-point deficit and vastly inferior goal difference to City.

While it is true that Tottenham usually raise their game against the top sides - their breathless run to the Champions League quarter-finals is testament to that - they have not won at Chelsea for 23 matches spanning 21 years.



MATCH FACTS Head-to-head

• Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 20 home league meetings with Tottenham (W14, D6), plus three cup matches.

• Spurs last won a league game at Chelsea in February 1990, when Gary Lineker scored the winner.

• Tottenham went an English record 32 league games without a win in this fixture until a 2-1 victory at White Hart Lane in November 2006.

• Victory for Tottenham would be their 50th of all time over Chelsea in all competitions. Chelsea have 59 wins.

Chelsea

• Chelsea have picked up 22 points from a possible 24, the best current form in the Premier League.

• They have the best defensive record in the top flight, conceding only 27 goals this season.

• Carlo Ancelotti's side are yet to lose a game in which they scored the opening goal (W16, D2).

• Fernando Torres's first goal for Chelsea last weekend came in his 14th appearance. It took him 12 hours and 12 minutes (732 minutes) to break his duck for the club.

• John Terry is set to make his 500th appearance for Chelsea. Other potential milestones are Didier Drogba playing in his 200th Premier League game, and John Mikel Obi reaching 200 league and cup appearances for the club.

Tottenham

• Spurs have drawn five of their last seven league matches, winning one and losing the other.

• They have gained an unsurpassed 23 points from losing positions this season, a record they share with West Brom.

• Only Manchester United have earned more points than Tottenham (24) against top-half opposition this season.

• Harry Redknapp's side have scored 10 goals from outside the penalty area - more than any other team in the Premier League this season according to Opta.

• If selected, Tottenham's Peter Crouch will be making his 350th career league appearance. He has scored 95 goals.



LEADING GOALSCORERS

Chelsea

Anelka: 16 goals (6 league); Malouda: 14 goals (13 league)



Tottenham

Van der Vaart: 14 goals (12 league); Pavlyuchenko: 12 goals (8 league)



MATCH OFFICIALS Referee: Andre Marriner

Assistant referees: Mike Cairns & Martin Yerby

Fourth official: Chris Foy



LAST LEAGUE MATCH LINE-UPS Chelsea (W3-0 v West Ham): Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Essien (Benayoun 56), Mikel, Lampard, Kalou (Anelka 70), Drogba (Torres 76), Malouda. Subs not used: Turnbull, Zhirkov, Ferreira, Bertrand.

Tottenham (D2-2 v West Brom, h): Gomes; Kaboul, Gallas, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto (Sandro 7), Van der Vaart, Huddlestone (Lennon 62), Modric, Bale, Pavlyuchenko (Crouch 87), Defoe. Subs not used: Cudicini, Jenas, Bassong, Pienaar.

Source: BBC_Sport