A visit to Stamford Bridge by Tottenham Hotspur has always been earmarked as one of the fixtures of the season, so much for being a local derby as it has for being a title decider.
Although the splendor and color of the derby will not have a bearing on the fate of the Premier League crown- which very well rests under champions in waiting Manchester City- the much at stake in regards to Champions League qualification makes it just as much of an attraction.
Spurs are fourth on the log with 61 points, five points above Chelsea with eight games left before the close of the current campaign.
Out of the Champions League
Chelsea may be fifth on the Premier League standings but if there is anything we’ve learnt from the Blues, then it is that their form in the League may not necessarily depict the strength and limit of the side.
Such was the case when they overcame the odds to maneuver their way to Champions League success in 2012 under the guidance of Roberto Di Matteo. Antonio Conte however failed to repeat the achievements of his fellow Italian having been overpowered by Barcelona in the last 16, one that has him precariously poised on the edge.
Potentially trophy-less season
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City has in any way, shape or form merited clinching the Premier League title this season, seeing as they have been nothing but imperious.
The same unfortunately can’t be said about Chelsea, whose only realistic chance of securing silverware lies in the FA Cup.
Even so, they still have to overcome Southampton in the semi-final before facing the monumental task of defeating either Manchester United or Tottenham in the final.
May miss out on the Champions League
Defending the Premier League title is increasingly becoming a rarity, more so with the perceived top four opponents throwing caution to the wind when spending for reinforcements in the summer.
Antonio Conte may not have had a realistic chance of successfully defending the domestic crown given Chelsea’s less than salubrious summer transfer, but the fact that the Italian maestro is having trouble attaining the bare minimum of Champions League qualification could see him handed his p45.
Anything short of a win against Mauricio Pochettino’s charges could quite rightly seal his fate.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
Like O-Posts on Facebook
You can also follow O-Posts on Twitter @OPosts