Premier League Preview: Chelsea v Tottenham
By Football News
Chelsea can send a clear signal of intent by beating Tottenham on Saturday to move seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.
With Arsenal and Manchester City in FA Cup action this weekend, and second-placed Liverpool not playing in the league again until next Sunday, Jose Mourinho's side have the opportunity to build a strong lead at the summit.
The omens are certainly on the hosts' side, as Tottenham have not won at Stamford Bridge in any competition since February 1990 - a run that stretches over 26 matches.
Chelsea, who are unbeaten in 74 home league games under Mourinho, also boast the best home record in the Premier League this season, with 38 points from a possible 42, but Spurs can point to having taken more points (29) on the road than any of their rivals.
That fact made last month's 1-0 loss away to struggling Norwich City all the more surprising, but Tim Sherwood's side have since progressed to the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League and beaten Cardiff City to retain fifth spot.
The spoils were shared in September's meeting at White Hart Lane when John Terry cancelled out Gylfi Sigurdsson's first-half opener before Fernando Torres saw red late on.
Sigurdsson was also on target in Tottenham's last trip to Stamford Bridge, netting a late leveller in a 2-2 draw.
Emmanuel Adebayor scored the visitors' other goal in that contest in May and the Togolese striker is in excellent form at present, having netted seven times in his last six league appearances away from home.
Adebayor has also scored in three of his last four top-flight starts against this weekend's opponents and will now aim to become the first Spurs player since Gary Lineker to fire home a winner for the club at Chelsea.
Danny Rose (knee), Etienne Capoue (ankle) and Kyle Walker (thigh) remain doubts for Tottenham, with Ezekiel Fryers likely to continue at left-back.
Influential midfielder Eden Hazard suffered an ankle injury in Belgium's 2-2 draw with Ivory Coast on Wednesday, but has declared himself fit and raring to go.
"I'm in super form," he told Het Laatste Nieuws. "Something you see in the stats and in my consistency. I see similarities with my last season in Lille."
Hazard scored 20 goals in 38 Ligue 1 appearances during his final campaign with Lille in 2011-12.