The Blues showed great spirit in coming from 2-0 down at home to Liverpool at the weekend to draw 2-2, though on balance of play they would have hoped to have gained more than a point from that outing, especially with Sadio Mane escaping a red card in the first few seconds of the game.
Spurs also showed their character and patience in their 1-0 win over Watford, with Davinson Sanchez’ 96th minute winner enough to seal the three points and ensure Antonio Conte’s unbeaten domestic start to life at Spurs remains intact.
Having crashed out of the Europa Conference League, this is certainly Spurs’ best chance at silverware this season, though all three other sides left in the competition sit above them in the league table, so it certainly won’t be easy.
With this first leg coming at Stamford Bridge, it’s understandable that Chelsea go in as favourites. Antonio Conte is yet to face his former side, and you know he’ll be determined to take a positive result back to North London for the second leg.
At home, Chelsea have been massively underwhelming of late, winning just one of their last seven domestic encounters at Stamford Bridge, and even that came in fortuitous circumstances with a last gasp penalty over Leeds. The other six have ended all square with Man City the only English side to win at Stamford Bridge since May 2021.
That victory over Watford was Spurs’ first under on the road under Conte as they’ve been far better on home soil, and even that win was far from convincing. Draws with Everton and Southampton and defeat to Mura in the conference league preceded that win, so it’s hard to see how they’ve got the credentials to overcome Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea To Win
The Lilywhites are a measly W4-D4-L6 on the road this season across all competitions, and all their victories came by narrow one goal margins against Wolves, Newcastle, Burnley and Watford.
This is the third season in four that these two have met in this competition, with Spurs taking the spoils on penalties last year, while three years ago their two-legged semi-final clash also went to penalties, with Chelsea claiming the win on that occasion after a 2-1 victory in the home tie.
Spurs haven’t beaten their London rivals for three years now, with Chelsea taking the win in six of eight unbeaten ties since January 2019, while the last time the North London side beat the Blues away from home, Conte was still in charge of the home side.
Chelsea have a host of injury problems, with both wing-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell injured, while Trevoh Chalobah and Andreas Christensen may also be out at the back, with Edouard Mendy off to the Africa Cup of Nations.
Tuchel’s side have shown they have ample replacements though, and should be able to cope here. Spurs have no new injury concerns, with Steven Bergwijn, Chritian Romero and Ryan Sessegnon all nearing a return.
CHELSEA TO WIN