Chelsea V Tottenham Preview : The title race turns to the FA Cup
Event Venue: Wembley Stadium, Kick off: 16:15. BBC One.See Stats
Chelsea and Spurs are battling at the top of the Premier League for the right to be called champions, and now, after Chelsea seemed like a forgone conclusion to hoist the trophy, only four points separates the two London sides. They meet at Wembley on Saturday in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, and whoever emerges victorious will surely gain a huge psychological advantage in the title race as well. Not to mention, a possible double.
Can Chelsea finish the job?
Chelsea have been the best team this season ever since they lost 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium to Arsenal last year. Boss Antonio Conte would then switch to a 3-4-3 formation - which is now being imitated plenty - and the Blues became an entirely different outfit. Eden Hazard was unleashed once more and regained the kind of form that saw him named PFA Player of the Year two years ago. Diego Costa started rattling in the goals and currently has 17 to his name. Perhaps most importantly, Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso were the perfect players to made the wide positions work. However, in the last few weeks, the Blues have begun to slip from their sky-high standards and after defeats to Crystal Palace and Manchester United, the title is no longer a dead cert. Costa has certainly gone off the boil recently and at the very time Chelsea cannot afford him to - another performance like the one at Old Trafford last week could be disastrous.
With four players in the PFA Team of the Year, it's clear to see just how good Spurs have been this season. Those players are Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose and all of those Englishman have had career seasons. Especially Alli, who with 19 goals and five assists this season has had an incredible campaign for a newly turned 21-year-old. Kane has 20 goals this season - his third in a row over 20 goals - and he is the reliable source that makes all their fine defensive play worthwhile. Speaking of their defensive record, Spurs have the best in the top-flight, two goals clear of Manchester United. Mauricio Pochettino's men are, arguably, the best all-around side in the Premier League and they enter this semi-final with Chelsea riding a wave of momentum. Of course, they beat Chelsea 2-0 back at the start of January and have won eleven games in a row at home and eight in a row all-in.
Spurs are chasing Chelsea down and they are hungrier than ever. Not only that, but they are on top of their game right now while Chelsea are wobbling. Spurs can deal the Blues a massive blow here.
- Chelsea currently lead the Premier League, with Spurs four points behind in second
- Both teams have beat each other this season, with Spurs winning the last encounter 2-0 in January
- Harry Kane has 20 goals this season, Diego Costa has 17
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