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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Chelsea, 04.01.17

· Last season's game - Spurs 0 Chelsea 0, 29.11.15
· This season's away game - Chelsea 2 Spurs 1, 26.11.16
· This week - last year
· What happened in the Premier League in Match 20 2015-16

· See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
· All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Full League Record of Tottenham Hotspur -v- Chelsea

Premier      Pl   W    D    L    For-Ag  Pts
Home         24   4   10   10    28- 42  22
Away         25   0    9   16    17- 50   9
Total (Prem) 49   4   19   25    45- 92  31
Football Lge
Home (Div 1) 42  20    9   13    79- 57  51
Away (Div 1) 42  19    6   17    63- 50  46
Total(Div 1) 84  39   15   30   142-107  97
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)  2   1    1    0     7-  4   3
Away (Div 2)  2   0    1    1     1-  4   1
Total(Div 2)  4   1    2    1     8-  8   4
Total (Prem) 49   4   19   25    45- 92  31
Total(Div 1) 84  39   15   30   142-107  97
Total(Div 2)  4   1    2    1     8-  8   4
Grand Total 135  44   35   58   195-207 132

Last Six Premier League results:-

Spurs      -    WLWWWW

Spurs      5-0   Swansea
Man Utd    1-0   Spurs
Spurs      3-0   Hull
Spurs      2-1   Burnley
S'hampton  1-4   Spurs
Watford    1-4   Spurs

Chelsea    -    WWWWWW

Man City   1-3   Chelsea
Chelsea    1-0   West Brom
S'derland  0-1   Chelsea
C. Palace  0-1   Chelsea
Chelsea    3-0   B'mouth
Chelsea    4-2   Stoke

Pos           P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
1. Chelsea   19 16  1  2  42-13  29   49 
5. Spurs     19 11  6  2  37-14  23   39

Let's invoke the spirit of New Year's Day 2015!

Billed by the Spurs manager in his post-Watford match press conference as a match important for the Premier League, Mauricio Pochettino said this - “It is important for the Premier League that we try to win. Maybe we will feel how Leicester felt last season. All the teams were with them and against us.”

Our quest for a first Premier League title ended at Chelsea last May with that 2-2 draw, and we suffered defeat in our away game at Stamford Bridge in November, but we did compete strongly in both games, holding a 2-0 lead at half-time in May, and leading until the end of the first half in November. Antonio Conte knows his side have a tough task tomorrow night. After all, despite our dismal overall Premier League record against "The Blues", they have won only one of their last 9 away games at White Hart Lane.

Memories of that 5-3 win on New Year's Day 2015 are still fresh in the minds of players and fans alike, and Pochettino will not have to work hard to invoke the spirit of that win, which after all only really illustrates the Spurs desire under this manager. The winning Spurs side that day included no less than 6 players (including subs) who have either left us permanently, or who are out on loan at the time of writing (probably not to return). Those men were Fazio, Mason, Bentaleb, Townsend, Paulinho and Chadli.

Pochettino was at that time in his first season as Spurs manager, and under his command there is no doubt the team and squad have developed and improved. After all, last season's title challenge and this season's current standing as a top four candidate at the very least makes that clear. That 5-3 win was achieved without Erik Lamela, and it seems likely he will be our only enforced absentee tomorrow, as he is still recovering match fitness following his hip problem.

Whilst other top six managers have complained about how their clubs have been affected by the New Year fixture schedule (specifically Jurgen Klopp and Arsene Wenger), Spurs and Chelsea came out of the period as well as anybody. Chelsea played on Boxing Day and New Year's Eve, thus getting one more day's rest than Spurs, but the Wednesday-Sunday-Wednesday schedule has not been bad for Spurs, especially considering their two 4-1 away wins, and the number of players who have effectively been rested for tomorrow's game.

Both Kyle Walker and Jan Vertonghen served their one-match suspension on Sunday, whilst Mousa Dembele and Moussa Sikssoko watched the whole of the Watford game from the bench. Our superiority enabled Pochettino to take off Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Harry Kane. I would expect all seven of these players to start tomorrow, joined by Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld, Victor Wanyama, and Christian Eriksen.

Chelsea too have developed since January 2015. They too fielded 6 players (including substitutes) who won't be starting tomorrow. Ivanovic, Terry and Fabregas have only 15 starts between them this season in league games, and are highly unlikely starters in a season where Conte was able to field an unchanged side for so long. Salah, Oscar and Ramires have gone. Salah spent time at Fiorentina and Roma on loan, and is now a fully fledged Roma player. The last two have gone to play for the money in China.

Conte has also achieved major development in the Chelsea team this season, and they will be seeking a record 14th consecutive Premier League win in this game. Let's hope that Conte is not dancing down the touchline in celebration this time!

Where Jose Mourinho failed to inspire his men last season, Conte has succeeded immensely. Diego Costa is still the same hard man he was was before, and he still has 5 bookings to his name, but I sense he has cleaned up his act somewhat, whilst retaining his goal-scoring prowess, with 14 league goals so far. Eden Hazard, player of the season in 2014-15, has started all but one Premier League game for Chelsea, and has scored 9 goals. He benefits from the freedom of being "number 10" with little defensive responsibility, and will be a candidate again for player of the season this time around.

Conte's 3-4-3 formation has been very successful, of course, and matched by Pochettino in several games now. It will be interesting to see "Poch"'s formation tomorrow, but what is really good is the fact that Spurs have become less predictable and could play 4-2-3-1 or a variation on the 3-4-3 themselves.

This is the first of two truly mouth-watering games for us this month (the other is Man City away), and I can't wait. Even Mark Lawrensen thinks we will win this one, and I am predicting a 2-1 win for Spurs. I am sure it will be a humdinger of a game!

After earlier results in this round of matches, including Arsenal's 3-3 draw at Bournemouth last night, Spurs can go third with a win. COME ON YOU SPURS!

We haven't seen referee Martin Atkinson since Day One of the season at Goodison Park, and of the longest serving referees, he is the one we tend to see least. This could be thanks to our horrible FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea in April 2012, when Mr. Atkinson seemed to "invent" a crucial second goal for Chelsea. Mr. Atkinson also took charge of a home goal-less draw against Chelsea in March that year. Here's hoping he does better for us tomorrow!

· Spurs' record in recent London Derby matches

· Reviewing Spurs' last Champions League Season - 2010-11. 6 years ago on 5th January, 2011, we lost 2-1 at Goodison Park.

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