Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea have had one of the Premier League’s most entertaining rivalries over the last few seasons. During Mauricio Pochettino’s time with Spurs, Chelsea have been responsible for some of his team’s most painful defeats. Whether it was the 2015 League Cup final, or putting the nail in the coffin for Spurs’ 2015/16 title challenge, Chelsea have presented roadblock after roadblock for Tottenham. When they face off at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, however, those roles will be reversed. Spurs are in the more comfortable league position, and they have the chance to effectively end Chelsea’s pursuit of a top-four spot (which would qualify them for the Champions League) while for Spurs, even a loss would leave them in a relatively healthy place in the standings.
Spurs currently sit in fourth place with 61 points and a game in hand on Liverpool, who are in third with 63. Chelsea are fifth with 56. Spurs have the luxury of losing the game and still being in a good spot, and a draw leaves them sitting pretty. Chelsea, meanwhile, need to win.
Chelsea’s major problem is that despite the fact that they beat Spurs at Wembley Stadium earlier this season, Spurs, over the course of the season, have simply been the better team. They’ve scored more goals, 59 to 52, and conceded fewer 25 to 27, and those stats are supported by their respective expected goals numbers as well. Spurs have generated 58.51 expected goals, and just under 24 expected goals conceded. Chelsea’s expected goals scored stand at just over 48 and their expected goals conceded is just over 24.