Tottenham can move into Champions League places on Saturday

Jose Mourinho
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Tottenham Hotspur were down in 14th place and 12 points outside of the Champions League places on 20 November 2019 – the day they appointed Jose Mourinho.

Last season’s Champions League finalists were certainly underperforming, but following losses such as the 7-2 thrashing at home to Bayern Munich and 3-0 at Brighton & Hove Albion, few would have had them finishing in the top four this season.

Mourinho’s side could be right where they need to be after Saturday when they travel to Stamford Bridge to face his former team in the Premier League lunchtime kickoff. Those who enjoy placing a sport bet might be excited by Tottenham’s odds being as long as 4.37 for this game. Chelsea’s odds are as short as 1.75.

That’s because Spurs’ Portuguese manager does have a couple of key injuries hampering his side currently – Harry Kane and Son Heung-min; the club’s two top goalscorers are both on the sidelines. On top of that, Erik Lamela and Moussa Sissoko are both only just returning from injury.

In case you didn’t hear his post-match interview on Wednesday, Mourinho’s side had a battle in their 0-1 Champions League loss at home to RB Leipzig, whilst Chelsea were putting their feet up in front of the TV, with no midweek fixture.

Moving the game to Saturday lunchtime instead of Sunday certainly does feel harsh on the North London club, but their own lack of resources isn’t on the FA’s shoulders.

Still, if anyone can pull three points out the bag at Stamford Bridge, it’s Jose Mourinho. However, his side were beaten 2-0 at home just before Christmas, and his Manchester United side were eliminated by Derby County in the League Cup last season – then managed by current Blues boss Frank Lampard.

If there is one thing in Tottenham’s favour heading into Saturday’s game, it’s the form book. Chelsea are winless in their last four Premier League matches (D2, L2), whilst Spurs are unbeaten in their last four (W3, D1).

Jose Mourinho’s side have kept two clean sheets in their last four league fixtures in their climb up the Premier League table whilst Chelsea have shipped two in each of their last three. They have kept just one clean sheet since their win at Tottenham’s new stadium, two months ago.

Steven Bergwijn may be new to the club, but he should fancy his chances against Chelsea. The Netherlands international marked his Premier League debut with a fine strike against Manchester City at the start of the month. Bergwijn could be partnered by Lucas Moura and Dele Alli in attack as they were midweek.

Giovani Lo Celso is starting to settle into the first team and Erik Lamela’s return from injury is a big boost. I would doubt the Argentine will be fit to start this one though.

Injuries have been kind to Chelsea this season, but Frank Lampard will be sweating over the fitness of N’Golo Kante, who picked up a thigh injury on Monday. Their 2-0 loss at home to Manchester United was without striker Tammy Abraham due to injury also. The England international could return for this one. Otherwise, the young manager has a choice of Michy Batshuayi or Olivier Giroud to field up front.

Despite Chelsea being odds on for this match you should not count Tottenham out. Yes, they are without Kane and Son and are coming off a loss midweek, but they have a master tactician in charge of them, going up against his out-of-form former side…

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