- Matchday 22 in the EPL throws up Tottenham vs Chelsea, Thursday, February 4, KO 3:00 pm EST
- The stakes are high at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium with both teams outside the top five
- We preview the game, look at the odds, and offer a best bet below
London derbies are always high-stakes affairs but when the participants are Tottenham vs Chelsea usually at least one of the teams is in or around the battle for the title. But when these two kick off on Thursday, February 4, KO 3:00 pm EST in week 22 of the EPL neither are even in the top five and so the prize on offer right now is staying in the hunt for the last Europa League place.
Tottenham vs Chelsea Odds
|Tottenham vs Chelsea||TOT +1 (-278) | CHE -1 (+225)||TOT +255 | DRAW +250 | CHE +108||Ov 2.5 (-109) | Un 2.5 (-114)|
All odds taken Feb 2 at DraftKings
Spurs on the Slide
Tottenham’s threat to challenge Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd for the title has all but dissipated and their defeat by Brighton on Monday has caused considerable disquiet in north London. The defeat on the south coast was their second on the spin after losing at home to Liverpool last Thursday, and they have now dropped to sixth and 11 points adrift of the leaders, Man City. Even more worrying is the fact they are now six points adrift of fourth place, which brings with it Champions League qualification.
New week. New month.
Two huge home fixtures coming up. Time to refocus.#THFC ⚪️ #COYS pic.twitter.com/KfE80Jh7ra
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) February 1, 2021
No Kane, No Goals
As if the two consecutive defeats were not bad enough for Jose Mourinho, the Spurs boss now has to contend with the loss of top goalscorer Harry Kane who injured both ankles in the Liverpool game. While he has Gareth Bale and Carlos Vinícius as cover for his main striker, neither has looked capable of filling Kane’s boots, with Bale’s loan looking more and more like a waste of a gigantic sum of money. Both players still have plenty to prove but it is more likely Mourinho will turn to the ever-reliable Son Heung-min for goals.
????-???? ⏱️ Brighton take the points.
? #BHAFC 1-0 #THFC ⚪️ pic.twitter.com/AM7iQgMxh5
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2021
Tottenham’s drop in form has hit them hard, especially with hopes having been built high after a good start to the season built on the traditional Mourinho foundations of a sound structure and a solid defense, so the Spurs boss will see three consecutive defeats as unthinkable. With West Brom up next after Chelsea followed by a trip to Manchester to play City, expect to see a cautious Spurs on Thursday and possibly a clean sheet.
Tottenham vs Chelsea Head-to-Head Stats
|6th||Current EPL position||7th|
|20 / 9||Games played / Wins||21 / 9|
|6-1 v Manchester Utd (a)||Biggest win||4-0 v Crystal Palace (h)|
|1-3 v Liverpool (h)||Biggest loss||1-3 v Arsenal & Man City|
Tuchel to Turn Chelsea’s Fortunes Around?
In their second outing under new coach Thomas Turkel, Chelsea picked up their first win under him with a comfortable 2-0 home win over Burnley at the weekend, after drawing 0-0 with Wolves in his opening game. The Blues will now be hoping to use this mini-revival as a springboard to try and get back into contention for a top-four finish but, like Spurs, they are currently six points behind fourth-place, albeit they have played a game more than the north Londoners.
Classy, Kova! ? pic.twitter.com/QniHArp2eI
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 1, 2021
Chelsea’s win over Burnley was much-needed after a miserable run of results that led to the sacking of club legend Frank Lampard; a run that saw them win just twice in nine EPL games. There still remains a lot of work to do to turn Chelsea into a side capable of earning a Champions League spot but part of Tuchel’s remit is to get the best out of their expensive, German summer signings Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.
Neither were able to settle under Lampard but with a countryman in charge, Blues owner Roman Abramovich will be hoping to start getting a return on his investments. There is also work to be done defensively and only once in their last five have Chelsea kept a clean sheet.
Tactical Tuchel! ??
The boss on @MarcosAlonso03’s selection at wing-back today… #CHEBUR pic.twitter.com/lPYKzROdSP
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 31, 2021
Expect a Close, Nervy One
With so much at stake here – defeat would see the losers lose touch with the top four – it is almost certain that both coaches will set up to keep things solid and tight. Mourinho, in particular, is a master at taking the life out of a game and denying his opponents time and space; often at the expense of offering an attacking threat at the other end.
So, while a win for either side would boost their chances of a top-four finish and potentially drag them back into the hunt at the top of the league, the overwhelming need will be to pick up a point. Therefore, for me, the value bet here is on the draw, maybe even a 0-0.
Pick: Tottenham and Chelsea to draw (+250)