The Premier League match at Stamford Bridge tomorrow evening between Chelsea and Tottenham could possibly be one of the most important meetings ever between the two London rivals. Everyone is aware of the significance of the match in terms of the final League placings and qualification for the Champions League but these words from 1910 define the situation facing the two clubs.Tottenham and Chelsea are looking to finish in the top-4 of the Premier League and along with Arsenal are seeking one of the two places available for Champions league qualification next season. Chelsea, currently third with a three point advantage over Tottenham are in pole position. Arsenal are 4th, two points above Spurs. The match at Stamford Bridge is both clubs’ game in hand over Arsenal and at the final whistle all three clubs will have two games to play.
A Chelsea win would greatly strengthen their position and guarantee them Champions League football by virtue of their superior goal difference. Arsenal would also benefit by retaining their two point lead on Spurs and they would know that two wins would secure a 14th consecutive season in the Champions League at the expense of their north London neighbours. It’s all to play for with Tottenham having most to lose.
A quote taken from the Tottenham home programmme of April, 1910 for the match against Chelsea is very appropriate for the game between the two clubs tomorrow evening. The original comment was made ahead of the final game of Tottenham’s first season in the 1st Division in 1909-10. It was a relegation battle with the winning team avoiding the drop while condemning the other to the 2nd Division the next year.
‘The long drawn-out struggle ends today. The climax has come and by this eventide all doubts and fears will be set at rest. This final match of 1909-10 must be as memorable as the last game of 1908-09. It is hardly possible to conceive of a more dramatic finish to a season than this which brings into conflict two great rivals when the prize at stake is of infinite importance to each.’
On this occasion, the result may not bring about the final decisions as it did in 1910 when Tottenham’s win ensured their 1st Division survival while Chelsea were relegated. The result at Stamford Bridge could, however, go a long way in defining the outcome of the season and for one it could bring joy while condemning the other to great disappointment. Tottenham fans are hoping that Spurs can re-create the drama of their win at the Etihad Stadium in May, 2010 when Peter Crouch’s goal secured Champions League football at Manchester City’s expense.
Which way will it go? Everyone has their thoughts and views but we may have to wait for another ten days or so to get the final, definitive outcome on the 2012-13 season.