Sunday sees us take on Spurs at Stamford Bridge and Scolari will be looking for us to continue our 100% start to the campaign following our hard fought 1-0 at the JJB last week. Ramos, on the other hand, will be no doubt demanding a considerable improvement on the two defeats he’s endured so far. In fact, if Spurs don’t avoid defeat in this one, it’ll be their worst ever start to a Premier League campaign, as Scolari acknowledges “It is important for Tottenham not to lose another game. They want their first three points in the league so we have some problems, we know this. Tottenham have lost both games and made some mistakes. But this is a big chance for Tottenham because it is a derby. We need to respect them even more.”
Juande Ramos definitely seems up for a result in this game and says “We need to start getting points on the board, and I think having a game like Chelsea at this time gives us a great chance to lift the spirits. The game plan should be to go there and play with an ambitious attacking style of football without fear. The team that takes its chances on the day will be the one who prevails.”
Spurs will be missing Hossam Ghaly (knee) and Alan Hutton (ankle) for the game, whilst Chelsea will be without Drogba (knee). Michael Ballack misses out with a foot injury and other possible absentees could be Joe Cole (ankle) and Ashley Cole (thigh).
Deco – Inspirational on the opening day of the season against Pompey. Quiet game last week although still popped up with the winner.
Woodgate – Scored in his last two games against us, he’ll need an eye keeping on him.
Have taken 6 points from the opening two games. Currently on the longest unbeaten run in the Premier League with 23 games (won 17, drawn 6). Chelsea have the best Premier League record in 2008 (15 wins, 5 draws) and remain the only top flight club not to lose a league game in this calendar year. Chelsea continue to defend a phenomenal unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge, aiming to stretch the run to 84 in this one. Last defeat in the league at Stamford Bridge stretches as far back as February 21, 2004 (1-2 defeat to Arsenal). Of their last five London derbies, Chelsea have won four and drew one. Finished 2nd last season and sit at the tope of the table with maximum points going into his game.
Have yet to take any points this season, losing their opening two games against Middlesbrough (a) and Sunderland (h), although have lost the opening to games in each of the last two seasons. Have won only one of their last nine Premier League games and have won only five games in the Premier League in 2008. Spurs have won only twice in 64 Premier League games against the ‘Big Four’ clubs and have never taken 3 points from Stamford Bridge in the Premier League. Finished last season in 11th place and sit 17th with no points going into this game.
HEAD TO HEAD
Chelsea have lost only one game to Spurs in the Premier League and have never been beaten by them at home during this time, notching up 13 wins and 5 draws in the last 18 games at Stamford Bridge. In fact, Chelsea have won more games (20), scored more goals (62) and gained more points (71) from Spurs than any other club in the Premier League. Chelsea have dropped only 25 points out of a possible 96 available against Spurs in the Premier League.
Home And Away
League (inc PL): Chelsea 51 wins, Spurs 41 wins, Draws 28
Prem: Chelsea 20 wins, Spurs 1 win, Draws 11
League (inc PL): Chelsea 29 wins, Spurs 19 wins, Draws 12
Prem: Chelsea 11 wins, Spurs 0 wins, Draws 5
Chelsea 2 – 0 Spurs
Chelsea scorers: Belletti, Wright-Phillips
12 January 2008 – Ref: Alan Wiley
Despite Chelsea’s 100% start to this season, both last weeks unconvincing performance at Wigan and Spurs’ real need to get something from this game, I have a nasty feeling about this one. Whilst most would fancy Chelsea for a win, I don’t think it’ll be as easy as all that. Anelka won’t get much from the Spurs defence and our own defence will need to be on it’s guard with Ramos sending his team out with strict instructions to go for the Chelsea jugular. And as if that isn’t enough, the last time Chelsea lost their third game of the season after winning the first two might’ve been as far back as the 1987-88 season – but it was against Spurs!
CHELSEA (from): Cech, Cudicini, Hilario, Ivanovic, Alex, Belletti, Bosingwa, Terry, Carvalho, A Cole, Bridge, J Cole, Obi Mikel, Lampard, Deco, Anelka, Malouda, Kalou, Essien
SPURS (from): Gomes, Cesar, Zokora, Gunter, Bale, Assou-Ekotto, Gilberto, King, Woodgate, Dawson, Modric, Bentley, Jenas, Huddlestone, O’Hara, Lennon, Dos Santos, Berbatov, Bent
Howard Webb (Yorkshire)