The race for Champions League qualification has really opened up for Chelsea over the last couple of weeks thanks to a recent resurgence under interim boss Roberto Di Matteo and a significant slump in form by rivals Spurs.
And the Blues will be looking to capitalise further on Tottenham’s sudden collapse when Harry Redknapp’s deflated side visit Stamford Bridge for the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday March 24.
Since the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas, a new-look, sturdier Chelsea outfit have ensued to record three consecutive victories in different competitions.
After battling to hard fought wins over Birmingham and Stoke in the F.A Cup and Premier League respectively, Chelsea pulled off a fine result on a massive European night at home to Napoli – beating the Italians 4-1 after extra time to cancel out their first leg deficit and progress through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
The Blues upturn in fortunes is of complete contrast to Tottenham’s recent run which has seen them lose three top flight games on the bounce – their rhythm and morale arguably affected by the speculation surrounding boss Redknapp and the vacant England job.
Just a month ago, Tottenham appeared to have defied even the harshest of critics by confirming their presence and threat in the title race with a thrilling 5-0 drubbing of Newcastle United at the Lane.
But the last few weeks have only served to please their doubters who believed that it was impossible for them to sustain a formidable challenge on a par with the likes of City and United.
But such has been Tottenham’s abysmal losing streak and dip in performance level, a Champions League qualification place now also looks in jeopardy after once seeming certain.
Spurs’ eight point cushion over all teams below them has been frittered away and Chelsea can move within a point of their rivals should they come out on top here.
The hosts won this corresponding fixture 2-1 last season and a similar outcome could be on the cards this campaign with a newly invigorated Chelsea capable of grinding out the result they require.
A trip to the Bridge is hardly ideal for Redknapp and his side at this stage of the season – especially in the midst of such a shocking month.
The bookmakers go odds against about a Chelsea success and immediately the 11/10 has to stand out as a fantastic looking wager.
Whilst their fluency and effectiveness has ebbed away in an attacking sense, Spurs have also looked frail defensively since lynchpin Michael Dawson was ruled out of action for a minimum of three months.
Messrs Drogba, Mata and Lampard can take full advantage and the former looks a solid selection to net first as the Ivorian will thrive upon a back four lacking any real cohesion, confidence and above all - a leader.
It is so important to follow in form sides at this stage of the season and instantly this looks set to make Chelsea a team to get behind – whilst Spurs should be given a wide berth until they can prove that they are back to their normal selves.
© Frixo 2013