Chelsea and Tottenham will meet each other for the 52nd time in the Premier League this weekend and their close proximity in the table once again this term highlights how significant the London rivalry has become in English football during the last few years. From the Battle of Stamford Bridge to FA Cup semi-finals, the Blues and Spurs suddenly find themselves repeatedly duking it out at the top end of the English game.
This time around, Champions League qualification is on the line. Antonio Conte will know his side need all three points to keep their hopes of being in Europe’s top competition next season alive, just as Mauricio Pochettino will know a victory will almost cement the north Londoners a place in the top four.
But can history tell us anything about the likely outcome in Sunday’s 4pm kickoff? Football FanCast take a look…
Make no mistake about it, Chelsea have completely dominated this fixture throughout the Premier League era, boasting more than five times the number of wins as Tottenham, keeping almost three times as many clean sheets and scoring nearly double the amount of goals. Spurs have even picked up more red cards than the Blues, albeit by a difference of just one.
Tottenham didn’t actually beat Chelsea in the Premier League until 2006, but there has been a better balance to this clash in recent years. Spurs’ famous 5-3 win at White Hart Lane on New Year’s Day 2015 signified a key shift and with that result included, both teams have won two, lost two and drawn two of their last six Premier League encounters.
Incredibly though, Tottenham are still chasing their first ever Premier League win at Stamford Bridge.
Down the years, the top scorer in this fixture has been Chelsea icon Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink, who took just eight appearances against Spurs to bag a staggering ten goals. That includes a perfect hat-trick in 2002 as Chelsea claimed a 4-0 victory at Stamford Bridge, the powerful Dutchman netting curlers with his right and left and a point-blank header in between.
Tottenham’s best representative is Teddy Sheringham with six who, rather incredibly, beat Chelsea just twice from 27 encounters throughout his entire career. Worryingly for Spurs fans though, the only member of the top five who’ll be involved on Sunday is the Blues’ talismanic attacker Eden Hazard – he’s grabbed four goals and two assists in 10 top flight outings against the Lilywhites.
A match Tottenham fans will dread seeing brought up, but it’s undoubtedly the fixture that has made the rivalry what it is today. Whilst Spurs’ 5-3 romping of Chelsea on New Year’s Day 2015 deserves an honourable mention as the result that announced Tottenham as a true title-contending force, it doesn’t quite compare to the notorious battle of Stamford Bridge, which produced a Premier League record of nine yellow cards.
Tempers boiled over as Chelsea came back in a game Spurs needed to win to have any chance of catching Leicester City in the 2015/16 title hunt, producing unsavoury challenges, fisticuffs on the touchline and one iconic goal from Eden Hazard.
No encounter between the two clubs has had more on the line, and no encounter has produced such incredible violence and drama in a true all-or-nothing affair.
Gus Poyet’s relentless supply of goals from midfield captured the hearts and minds of both sets of supporters. An affluent spell at Chelsea saw him net 36 goals in 105 Premier League outings, including a stunning strike against Sunderland, and score for the Blues against Real Madrid in the 1998 Cup Winners’ Cup final.
The Uruguayan’s stint at White Hart Lane was somewhat less successful, blighted by injuries, but he still notched up 18 in 82 for Spurs in the Premier League and became a firm fan favourite, later serving as assistant manager to Juande Ramos.
However, Poyet isn’t remembered too fondly by all Chelsea fans for one notorious incident – at the end of a 5-1 League Cup win for Spurs in 2002, he turned to the away Blues support and audaciously kissed the Tottenham badge.