Following the final international break, the run-in to the end of the season begins with a big one. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton turn their preview spotlight on the derby against Spurs…
Chelsea’s 50th match of the season pits fifth against fourth, with five points the gap between. The champions’ record to date is 26 wins, 12 draws, 11 defeats, 90 goals for and 47 against. But anything other than a victory against the north London neighbours would make a Champions League place very difficult to secure.
The title-holders have suffered just one defeat in the past 11 league games on the Fulham Road, a run comprising nine wins and one draw. Spurs are in decent form too: undefeated in 12 league games, they have hit the net in each of the past nine on the road.
Sunday’s game is the opening round of consecutive London derbies at home before a string of away fixtures in league and cup, and the first at Stamford Bridge against a fellow top-six side since Manchester United were beaten 1-0 on Guy Fawkes Night.
Away to top-six sides, Mauricio Pochettino’s side have won once in 19 attempts on the road against their closest rivals, a record of which the Argentine is well aware. ‘That is why maybe we miss a title,’ he said recently, ‘why we don’t win the Premier League.’ It is now 57 years since the north Londoners won the league, and the Blues have managed it five times over that period.