Thursday night sees third place Tottenham host fourth place Chelsea in a match pitching two of the capital’s best teams against each other. The fixture will have a significant bearing on the New Year ambitions of both clubs – The winners will haul themselves into the title race, while the losers will drop back into the battle for Champions League qualification.
Tottenham to win more corners (Evens with William Hill)
Spurs have an immense home record. Since losing to Manchester City 5-1 back in August, they have rattled off 7 home wins on the bounce, including victories against Liverpool and arch rivals Arsenal. They are performing well at both ends of the pitch, scoring 16 goals and conceding just 7 (5 of those coming in the humbling by City).
Scott Parker is widely credited for bringing balance and discipline to the Spurs midfield, allowing the more creative players such as Luka Modric and Rafael Van der Vaart to express themselves in more advanced areas of the pitch. This, coupled with the ambitious, attacking style that Harry Redknapp traditionally encourages, makes the North Londoners a potent force in the Premier League.
Chelsea appeared to have rediscovered their swagger after dispatching Newcastle, Valencia and Manchester City in successive games, then came the morale sapping draw away at Wigan and Andre Villas-Boas is left needing another big result in order to drag his team back into the title race.
The Valencia game showed a new resilience within the Chelsea ranks, but that defensive discipline was thrown off for the visit of Manchester City, and it will be interesting to see if the Chelsea Coach reverts back to the more circumspect style when faced with a positive, attack minded team away from home.
The Valencia performance was so effective that it is tempting to get involved with the 11/10 about Under 2.5 goals with Betfair, but with no guarantee that the Blues will adopt that counter attacking style here, better options may lie elsewhere. One thing is fairly certain, Tottenham will be positive. Redknapp likes his teams to ‘have a go’. Given that, the Even money that William Hill are offering on Spurs getting more corners in the match looks a solid bet. They are the home side, and can be expected to show plenty of attacking intent, regardless of how Chelsea approach the contest.