Spurs head into this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final with London rivals Chelsea as 5/6 favourites to progress to the final and are priced at 17/10 to do so inside the 90 minutes.
Tottenham winger Gareth Bale has stoked the fires ahead of Sunday’s clash at Wembley by claiming the North London side have a ‘better team’ than their neighbours from the west of the capital, who themselves are 7/4 to be victorious without warranting extra-time.
The Welsh winger’s claim is a bold one, but one that stands up to scrutiny when you look closely at the two sides.
Defensively, on paper there is very little separating the sides, with both having conceded 38 goals in the Premier League this season, nevertheless Younes Kaboul and Ledley King have enjoyed fruitful seasons, whereas Chelsea have served up some, at times, chaotic defending, usually stemming from the unpredictable yet improving David Luiz.
The centre of the park is an area that has seen great change throughout the campaign at the Bridge. Andre Villas Boas tinkered regularly with his central players whereas the White Hart Lane side have predominantly stuck to a Parker, Modric partnership that has proved successful throughout.
Going forward both sides have fantastic talent, Spurs in the shape of Rafa Van der Vaart, Emmanuel Adebayor and Bale himself, who between them have chipped in with 36 goals in all competitions.
Chelsea also have some good attacking players at their disposal. In Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres they have two strikers who were once the most feared in Europe but both have struggled to find consistent form this season, scoring a paltry 16 goals combined.
Juan Mata has been the lifeblood of the Blues side this season, along with the emerging talent of Daniel Sturridge, who has been strangely omitted from recent games by boss Roberto Di Matteo.
However, stats count for little when it comes to an FA Cup semi-final and despite Bale’s claims of superiority it is destined to be an intriguing contest.