Make or break: Can Chelsea earn their Spurs?
It’s not been the best February for Chelsea Football Club.
Since their 5-0 demolition of Huddersfield Town at the beginning of the month, the Blues have been thumped by Manchester City and swept aside by Manchester United in the FA Cup.
Could things really get worse for the West Londoners? The team actually put up a heroic fight against Pep Guardiola’s City slickers in the Carabao Cup final.
But the fall-out from their penalty shoot-out defeat on Sunday could have huge ramifications for manager Mauricio Sarri.
Tottenham Hotspur rock up to Stamford Bridge tonight, sensing blood. But with the home side at 6/5 to win the game, we look at three reasons why Chelsea could come out on top.
The playmaker. The leader. An icon at Stamford Bridge. Hazard did everything he could to salvage a trophy for his club on Sunday – it was almost a one man salvo at times.
The Belgian may be waffling on about a possible move to Real Madrid in the summer, but may feel he has some unfinished business in West London.
Hazard can glide past any defence and is irrepressible on his day. He can compound Spurs’ misery after they lost to Burnley which may have ended their title charge.
With a raucous Stamford Bridge crowd behind him, you could see the 28-year-old dismantle an already wounded Spurs side.
Youth over experience?
Pedro and Willian have been excellent servants for Chelsea in recent seasons.
But if you compare this to Sarri’s Napoli side, it may be time to implement some new blood at Chelsea.
We’ve all heard about the staggering 41 players Chelsea have out on loan. But there’s two Englishman that are waiting in the wings right now.
Callum Hudson-Odoi has already sent out a ‘use me or lose me’ plea after serious interest from Bayern Munich.
But Ruben Loftus-Cheek may warrant a sustained run in the team, after years of kicking his heels.
Both players look the future of English football. So why not the future of Chelsea too?
In Naples, Sarri had to adapt due to a number of injuries to new-signing Arkadiusz Milik.
He would often play with Dries Mertens as the number-nine and the Belgian reached a career high of 28 league goals under the Italian in 2016-17.
Sarri has often gone with Hazard in this role during his early spell at Chelsea – which has been hit or miss.
But now he has two fit international centre forwards among his ranks – fit and raring to go.
In the League Cup final, he only brought Gonzalo Higuain on during extra time.
Perhaps we will see one of Higuain or Premier League proven Olivier Giroud in from the start tonight.
This could well be ‘Battle of the Bridge’ part two, with Spurs to come out on top at 21/10.
A Chelsea victory is 6/5 and a stalemate comes in at 12/5.
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