Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea Betting Tip & Odds: It is the home side Spurs who are attracting most of the betting attention in this one, and rightly so. They have lost just once at home, and are on a six game winning streak at White Hart Lane. Can’t argue with that, so these two should be evenly matched and can’t see more than a one goal winning margin from either. There is actually decent value in backing either for an outright win at the prices below. However, going to push the boat out and go for great value in Spurs -0.75 Asian Handicap for 2/1 at Bet365. That pays a half win for Spurs winning by one goal, full win for them winning by two.
EPL Match Preview: A great heated London derby is on the cards for Thursday evening, with the unusual position of Chelsea trailing Tottenham in the league standings. Spurs sit in third place at the moment, two points clear of Chelsea, but Harry Redknapp’s men still have a game in hand over everyone else in the title race. So this is a massive game for Spurs if they really want to press home their title winning credentials. They are in good enough form to do, and with Chelsea being a bit hit and miss in their form, is this the perfect opportunity for Tottenham to get a big one up over the London rivals? There really hasn’t been too much to split these two teams this season, other than Spurs have been far more consistent. The difference could all come down to the goal scoring support in depth from the Spurs midfield, which is better than Chelsea’s. But we expect a fiery clash in the Capital with huge implementations. Chelsea lose and they will be well back in the title race, while a win for them would keep them in the hunt. Who will rule London on Thursday evening?
Tottenham Hotspur Form: You really have to admire what Harry Redknapp has done at White Hart Lane. The way Spurs play, that new found edge of mettle to grind things out when necessary is all down to him. After a couple of brutal lessons at the start of the season from both Manchester clubs, Spurs went on an eleven match unbeaten run in the Premier League, winning ten of those, before falling away at Stoke a couple of weekends ago. They bounced back on Sunday though with a narrow 1-0 win over Sunderland, and the signs are there that Spurs are actually a genuine title contender. Probably more so than Chelsea, and they are arguably the best side in London at the moment. Their home form has been pretty spot on, winning six on the bounce now, since getting hammered by Manchester City in their first home game of the season. It has all been upwards since then and there is a great team spirit surrounding Tottenham. Spurs have scored in each of their home matches so far this season, which points to them being favourites in this match, and to back that up, they have kept three home clean sheets in a row now. Granted Spurs are not quite as prolific in front of goal as some of the other title rivals, but they are getting there. The beauty about Spurs really is that they have goals from pretty much everywhere on the pitch, with superb contribution from the midfield to relieve the pressures of the forwards. Things become very easy when that is in place. Spurs have netted sixteen times at home this season at an average of 2.28 goals per match, and they are conceding on average one goal per game at White Hart Lane. They do have an impressive 57% clean sheet record at home this season and 71% of their home games have ended over 2.5 goals. Tottenham’s strong period of the match, seems to be in the 61-75 minute bracket, which is when they have been most prolific over the course of the season so far. They are also quite strong starters as well in the first fifteen minutes, and have opened the scoring in 73% of their matches. Emmanuel Adebayor has contributed superbly with eight goals this season, backed up by Jermain Defoe, Rafael van der Vaart and Gareth Bale. It is that forward support which Chelsea have been lacking, and what could be the difference in this game.
Chelsea Form: Time for Chelsea to redeem themselves again. After a bit of a lackluster performance on Saturday away at Wigan, in which a late equalizer from the home side saw Chelsea throw away points in the title race, the Blues now face a tough test to get back on track. Chelsea were really below par against Wigan, not looking a powerful force, and again the striker problems were prevalent, with Didier Drogba anonymous and Fernando Torres unable to get on to the pitch. Those dropped points saw Chelsea concede third place in the Premier League to Thursday’s opponents Tottenham, and so now Chelsea need to rattle off a good win to get themselves back in front of their London rivals. Chelsea are unbeaten in their last three away matches, picking up two wins and then that draw on the weekend. In total, they have played out four wins, two draws and two defeats away from Stamford Bridge this season, not a great record, but could be worse. The Blues are averaging 1.63 goals per match away from home and conceding about half of that numbers. A large part of Chelsea’s problems this season has been keeping clean sheets, although that late goal from Wigan, did stop them going three away matches without conceding. Chelsea are a little hit and miss at the moment, they either turn up and play very well like they did at Newcastle recently, or simply fail to get going as they did against Wigan. So consistency is a bit of problem, but they are on a four game unbeaten stretch in the Premier League at the moment, and are probably due a good game after the Wigan one, so expect something of a bounce back. Chelsea have found the back of the net thirteen times on the road, but a quarter of their away matches have failed to yield a goal for them. 50% of Chelsea’s away matches this season have ended Over 2.5 goals, and their goal scoring timing is still split evenly between the first and second halves, and the Blues have opened the scoring in 62% of their matches. Young Daniel Sturridge, who scored again on Saturday, is top scorer for Chelsea with 8 goals. Now if only he could get some back up from either Drogba or Torres (who have just four goals between them), Chelsea would be a much tougher force to be reckoned with. That surely has to be a big target for Andre Villas Boas in January. What they have is not working up front.
Head to Head: A hugely popular London derby and one which reads pretty evenly in the stats. Spurs have won 26 of these fixtures, while Chelsea have rattled off an impressive 25 wins, and there have been 19 draws between the two of them at White Hart Lane. Last season’s corresponding fixture ended in a 1-1 draw, and Chelsea have not managed a win at their neighbours in four attempts now. After Chelsea dominating their rivals for so long, the tide really has turned when these two come together.
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