Gareth Bale struck his 20th goal of the campaign last weekend. Image courtesy of metro.co.uk/Reuters
With the premiership already decided, few games have as much riding on them as Thursday morning’s (AEST) all-London clash between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur . Both sides are in a dogfight for the final automatic qualifying position for the group stage in next season’s UEFA Champions League, along with another club from the capital, Arsenal. Chelsea currently holds down third after its 1-0 win over a weakened Manchester United side, but if Spurs claim the three points at Stamford Bridge it would really throw the cat amongst the pigeons.
The Blues have been dominant at home of late winning their last six games at the Bridge. After two straight losses in mid-March, Spurs are unbeaten in their last five starts.
Their away record this season is more than respectable collecting 30 of a possible 51 points on the road. They come in to this match on the back of a 1-0 win over Southampton.
Not surprisingly, Gareth Bale was the difference at the weekend. His breathtaking winner was his eighth game-winning goal of the season. Despite an ankle injury that sidelined him recently, Bale’s goal against the Saints was his 20th for the season, in the process he became the first Spurs player since German great Jurgen Klinsmann to reach that mark for Tottenham.
There’s no doubt these are two of the more attacking-minded teams in the Premier League, as was on display when Chelsea posted a 4-2 win at White Hart Lane earlier this season. The Blues have managed to keep a clean sheet in just under half of their home starts, but Spurs haven’t been afraid to push forward on the road, scoring in all but one of their away games this season.
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