Chelsea are starting to feel the pressure of leading the Premier League title race, but Saturday’s meeting with Tottenham isn’t exactly a chance to catch a breather. See the latest semi-final odds here.
Even if the league remains Mauricio Pochettino’s most wanted honour, winning the FA Cup would be quite a fillip for the Argentine who, let’s not forget, is still to win his first trophy as a manager. So can his Tottenham side overcome the Blues at Wembley on Saturday?
The north-west London stadium hasn’t been a particularly happy hunting ground for Spurs; although the side played its Champions League games at Wembley this year, they were beaten by both Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen.
Still, Tottenham are in excellent form now with eight league wins on the spin, scoring eight in their last two games and conceding just two goals in their last five. Over the same period, Chelsea have been beaten at the Bridge by Crystal Palace, and by Man United at Old Trafford. Are the wheels starting to come loose?
Spurs beat Chelsea at White Hart Lane at the start of the year, and coped admirably during Harry Kane’s injury layoff. The England striker has since returned to the fold, scoring against Bournemouth at the weekend.
Meanwhile, Kane’s opposite number with the Blues, Diego Costa, is in something of a slump; after scoring 14 goals in the first half of the season, since January he’s only managed three goals in the Prem. His last came at West Ham at the start of March.
Does Tottenham’s current momentum favour them here? If they can overcome whatever hoodoo they have at Wembley, possibly – though they also have a hoodoo with the Blues, too (yep, that’s a Blues-too-hoodoo). In the last 20 years, Chelsea have won 28 times against Spurs; in the same period, Tottenham have won just seven of those meetings.
Still, there’s barely anything between the two teams in the odds compilers’ eyes, with Chelsea very slight favourites. Might Spurs’ momentum be enough to give the North London club the edge, though?
With the outcome apparently so evenly balanced, it’s essentially a choice between the idea that Chelsea will shake off their recent stumble – or else the belief that finally, Spurs have become the real deal. It would certainly be fantastic timing if Poch and co could use this encounter to demonstrate the latter.
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