Chelsea vs Tottenham
Two clubs from the capital in need of a pick-me-up.
One dramatically beaten in the lottery of a penalty shoot-out to miss out on the first major silverware of the season; the other reeling from a late blow which could have finally killed off their title hopes – albeit very outside ones anyway.
Revenge may also be in the air as Chelsea and Spurs prepare for this Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge, their third meeting in less two months.
We are about to find out if familiarity really does breed contempt.
Let’s be honest: it’s all been about the shoot-out mutiny in the build-up to this.
Unless it was all about a ‘misunderstanding’ as Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri suggested after the match, the behaviour of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in their League Cup Final defeat on Sunday was nothing short of disgraceful.
Suffering from a cramp with spot kicks looming, the young Spanish goalkeeper’s refusal to be substituted – insisting he was fit enough to continue – was as astonishing as it was unacceptable.
While he should be disciplined, it says much for the modern game that he may not. And while he will still be at the club next season, Sarri will certainly be not.
This episode was indicative of ‘player power’ and was complete public insurrection, showing scant regard for the club and no respect whatsoever for his manager.
The rebellion will still be uppermost in the minds of home players and fans alike when this important league clash begins which is unfortunate, particularly for Sarri whom, until that point, had held the upper hand tactically in the Wembley showpiece.
Chelsea’s goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga jumps while aiming to save a shot attempt
The mood will be interesting if and when Kepa’s name is read out over the tannoy at the start of the contest.
Of course, Spurs had disciplinary problems of their own over the weekend.
The threat of a touchline ban hangs over boss Mauricio Pochettino who was charged for his conduct following their 2-1 league defeat to Burnley.
Spurs were angered by some of the decisions of the controversial Dean, who has been stood down as the fourth official from this fixture.
Pochettino acknowledged afterwards that he was really more frustrated by his side’s inability to build on their equaliser at Turf Moor as they chased a win which would have moved them nearer the summit.
He did have the consolation, however, of seeing Harry Kane return with a goal after six weeks on the sidelines – a big lift for the club which has been badly affected by injuries since the turn of the year.
So the opportunity to make amends quickly for a below-par display now awaits Spurs who also host Arsenal in the North London derby before the week is over.
In truth, both sides need a lift, and this may be fruity with tensions already simmering in the respective camps.
After all, these meetings have already produced some Premier League 2019 highlights, not always for the right reasons.
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Many us fans will know there is much history between these two rivals.
After holding a hoodoo over Spurs for so long, Chelsea have struggled in recent years against their London rivals.
Spurs have won four of their last seven meetings including Sarri’s first defeat in the Premier League, a 3-1 Wembley success in November.
They also won 3-1 at Stamford Bridge last season – their first success in 31 visits to Stamford Bridge in all competitions since February 1990.
Overall, Chelsea have triumphed in 69 of their meetings with Spurs enjoying victory 54 times and 40 matches ending all square.
Of course, Chelsea won in a penalty shoot-out in last month’s League Cup semi-final after the two-legged tie had finished 2-2 on aggregate.
||Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur
||Asian Handicap Spurs draw no bet @ 2.36
|February 28 04:00 (GMT+8)
Premier League 2019 betting odds edge towards the home side, as they so often do at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea are priced 1X2 @ 2.29 and Spurs @ 3.10 with the draw @ 3.25.
It’s similar with Asian Handicap betting with Chelsea available to back at -0.50 @ 2.29 and Spurs +0.25 @ 1.95.
If you fancy goals, you can get odds @ 2.11 of over 2.75 goals, total goal 2-3 @ 1.91 and total goal 4-6 @ 3.25.
A repeat of Chelsea’s 2-1 victory in the League Cup last month (they won the tie on penalties after 180 minutes) is priced @ 8.00 with correct score betting, whereas a repeat of Spurs’ 3-1 November triumph – the same scoreline they won in this corresponding fixture last season – is @ 30.00.
With Spurs still missing key personnel, my tip may surprise you.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:
| = €20 (Highly confident)
|| = €10 (CONFIDENT)
|| = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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