It is fair to say Chelsea are Tottenham’s nemesis in the Premiership. Not since they triumphed 2-1 at Stamford Bridge on 10th February 1990, 32 games ago, have Spurs taken all three points in the League. Beating north London’s perennial under-achievers is something us Blues never tire of.
Jose Mourinho has more than done his bit to maintain the record, guiding Chelsea to three wins and a draw since his arrival in the summer of 2005. William Gallas’s injury time winner in last season’s game at the Bridge is the most memorable moment from Mourinho’s games in charge. It was certainly the best way imaginable to consign a team on a 16-year losing streak to yet another defeat.
In team news, Mourinho’s only injury concern, apart from Petr Cech, is Andriy Shevchenko who continues to struggle with a thigh injury. The Ukranian has sat out the last three games, but was expected to train with the rest of the squad yesterday and could renew his partnership up front with Didier Drogba.
Ashley Cole will be making his first appearance at White Hart Lane since his move from Spurs’ hated rivals Arsenal on transfer deadline day. A hostile reception awaits but Cole believes the atmosphere will be no worse than Wednesday’s game against Barcelona at Camp Nou, during which he produced his best performance in a Chelsea shirt.
Spurs have a major doubt over first choice centre back Michael Dawson. The former England Under-21 international captain picked up a hip injury in the UEFA Cup win over Club Bruges on Thursday. Fellow defenders Calum Davenport and Paul Stalteri are definitely out.
A whole generation of Tottenham fans have still to witness a defeat of Chelsea on their own turf. It’s over 19 years since Spurs last took all three points off the Blues at White Hart Lane: Nico Claesen scored the only goal in a 1-0 win on 22 August 1987. Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister and Madonna’s “Who’s That Girl” was Number One.
Spurs would like to remember, remember the 5th November 2006 as the date they beat the Blues for the first time in the Premiership. It may not be politically correct to say this, but there’s more chance of somebody successfully blowing up the Houses of Parliament.