Third meets fourth on Thursday in the English Premier League. The home side, Tottenham, are on a ridiculously good run where they have garnered 33 points out of the last 39 available. That means they have moved from a precarious position in the early part of the season, near the bottom of the table after damaging defeats against Manchester United and Manchester City, to the loftier position of third. Chelsea, by contrast, have yet to show such consistent form over a long period but they are in relatively decent shape approaching this match. C
helsea had defeated Wolves, Newcastle, Manchester City and Valencia in the space of a couple of weeks and the club, the supporters, the players, even probably the manager, imagined that it was the beginning of a prolonged winning spell. It wasn’t to be the case. Chelsea drew with Wigan 1-1, Petr Cech making an error in the final stages of the match – although it would be unfair to lay all the blame on him as Chelsea, after going a goal ahead, rarely threatened to score another goal when they ought to have had the mind set that a one goal lead was too fragile and so they should score again.
So, with both sides in good form and with both teams sharing an incentive to win – namely to move closer to the two Manchester clubs at the summit of the table – what might we expect from the fixture? Tottenham are definitely going to be without their influential right winger Aaron Lennon, as the England international has pulled his hamstring and likely to be out for close to a month. Gareth Bale and Emmanuel Adebayor are also doubts, but Harry Redknapp might yet decide to play the pair regardless, especially once their value to the team is considered. Jermaine Defoe, similarly, is expected to be unavailable but it would surprise nobody if he made a dramatic last minute recovery and found his way into the match day squad. Chelsea, on the other hand, approach the match in decent shape in regards of injuries. In attack they can choose between Didier Drogba, Daniel Sturridge and Fernando Torres. In midfield they have ample options. It is in defence, however, where things are a little uncertain. Will it be Jose Bosingwa or Branislav Ivanovic at right back? Will John Terry play well considering he has a court case for alleged racism playing on his mind? Can Petr Cech recover from his mistake at Wigan?
The match is likely to be settled late on in the game and is poised to be an exciting end to end affair. Definitely one to watch.