Saturday sees the top two sides in England meet for what promises to be a blockbuster of an FA Cup semi-final. Chelsea are the Premier League leaders but Tottenham Hotspur are very much the team in form and there could well be a shift in power at Wembley on Saturday evening.
Spurs have won their last seven Premier League matches and in doing so have cut Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table from 10 points to just four and with six games of the season remaining we now have a very real title race. Chelsea’s loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford felt like a big result and the pressure is now on Antonio Conte’s men to reassert themselves as the dominant force in England.
They may not be able to do that on Saturday though as Spurs simply look too good at the moment. Harry Kane is back in the Spurs side and marked his return with a goal in the 4-0 win over Bournemouth last weekend. The England international has scored 25 goals in 28 matches for Spurs this season and that record speaks for itself. He may not be able to find his form for his country but Kane thrives in the Spurs system and his understanding with Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen makes Tottenham a formidable force going forward.
Chelsea will look to stop that trio by making use of Antonio Conte’s famed 3-4-3 formation but if Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses, who have been stalwarts for the Blues this season, don’t recover from illness then things could fall apart. The Spurs full backs like to push on and Pedro, in particular, could be exposed if used in a wing back position. Gary Cahill’s potential absence would also be a blow as it would disrupt the back three and further unsettle the league leaders.
The fact that Chelsea lost last weekend is also likely to be key ahead of Saturday’s Wembley fixture. It’s now two defeats in four matches for the Blues and last season showed just how fragile the confidence of some of their star players can be. If Spurs employ their usual pressing style and come at Chelsea in the early stages of the match then they could overwhelm Conte’s men and that could be key to the result of not only this game but also the Premier League title race. In five of their last seven matches Spurs have been ahead by two or more goals at half-time, which is an incredible statistic. They may not manage that wide a lead at Wembley but they look good value in the HT/FT market as well as simply to win the match.