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Chelsea V Tottenham at Stamford Bridge : Match Preview
Published : 24 Mar 2012 08:36:20
John Terry is set to return to lead out Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League game against Tottenham.
Blues captain Terry missed Wednesday night's defeat at Manchester City with a calf strain but trained fully on Thursday. Fellow defender Branislav Ivanovic is doubtful with a thigh problem suffered at the Etihad Stadium, while Oriol Romeu is fit after a knee injury. Defender Gary Cahill is confident Chelsea will quickly recover lost momentum after their midweek setback at Manchester City. They trail fourth-placed Spurs by five points but, despite the 2-1 reverse at the Etihad Stadium, the impetus is on their side. Spurs have collected just one point in their last four games to lose third place to Arsenal, whom they led by 10 points a month ago.
Cahill said: "We have had good results and built some momentum of late. "The camp is positive and we're looking to get the run going again on Saturday in what is another big game. "We were unlucky on Wednesday. We were 1-0 up until the 78th minute and it is disappointing not to see that out. "But we can't let it affect us because we have huge games coming up in the next week or so." Cahill is relishing the upcoming programme with the Spurs clash followed by the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final at Benfica next Tuesday. The 26-year-old England international, who also scored in last week's FA Cup quarter-final win over Leicester, said: "I want to play in big games and we certainly have big games coming up from now until the end of the season.
"It is certainly important we finish strong and keep this momentum we have built over the last few weeks. "I heard a little stat that if we go all the way in the competitions we have 15 games left until the end of the season. "It is amazing and something we're striving to do. It is important we rest up this week and get ourselves mentally ready for Spurs."
Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp claims Tottenham's players could not care less if he left for England this summer and once again denied that his team's recent slump has anything to do with him being tipped to succeed Fabio Capello. Tottenham dropped out of the Barclays Premier League top three for the first time since November on Wednesday when they drew 1-1 against Stoke. Rafael van der Vaart's 93rd-minute equaliser ensured Tottenham were spared a humiliating fourth straight defeat, but despite gaining a draw, the club's recent slump has put a severe dent in their Champions League ambitions.
Redknapp, the overwhelming favourite to be the next England boss, has seen his team collect four points from the five league matches since Capello resigned, but the 65-year-old vehemently denied the two are linked when quizzed on the subject this morning. "Absolute nonsense. That is the biggest load of nonsense I have ever heard in my life," he said. "They (the players) don't care whether I'm the manager next year. "They wouldn't lose any sleep over that. That's football. Footballers play the game, they come in every day and train. Someone else walks in here tomorrow - the king is dead long live the king! "They don't worry. They don't think `Harry is going to England' or `he is going to go somewhere else'. I have been around football all my life and it doesn't happen.
"It never enters my mind. I don't think: `Oh, what's going to happen to me at the end of the season?' "Whatever happens to me, happens. I don't lose any sleep over it, whether I'm here, somewhere else or nowhere. That's life." Spurs have not won at Stamford Bridge since 1990 and their hopes of victory have been hindered by Aaron Lennon's ongoing hamstring troubles. "Lennon is training. He trained yesterday, today (Friday). he will train all over the weekend, but he doesn't at the moment feel he is ready to play so he is not available," Redknapp added. Emmanuel Adebayor, who missed Wednesday's draw, will have a test on his hamstring problem to see if he is fit to return.
Chelsea V Tottenham - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game live.