Chelsea starts critical two-week stretch for Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images) /

Beginning with today’s match-up at home versus Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur start a critical two-week stretch that will have a major impact on where they’ll end up on the table.

For English teams in European competition the complaint is simple: While all the other countries rest, the Premier League plays even more games during the holiday season. For Tottenham this means four games over an 11-day span, with an added FA Cup tie at Middlesbrough to cap off the run. Over 15 days Spurs will play five games and could, depending on results, be positioned well for a run at both the top four and some overdue silverware.

Big Match with the Blues

On paper the toughest opponent Tottenham will face in the next five games is Chelsea. The Blues currently sit fourth place on the league table, three points ahead of Tottenham who are 7th following Saturday’s action. Win that match and Spurs will be tied with Chelsea for 4th, but ahead on goal differential.

The Blues started the season strong, but of late have fallen from grace. Spurs have won four of their last five games in league while Chelsea has lost four of their last five. While Spurs’ London rival have won two more games this season, the Blues have also lost one more match.

Tottenham have scored more and conceded fewer. Chelsea is always a big game but even more so with what’s at stake; win and we go top four, lose and we are six points out of the top four, two points and two places out of the Europa League one game shy of halfway in the campaign.

Spurs festive football fun

After the Chelsea match the schedule softens a bit as the first half of the season ends. Tottenham host 13th place Brighton on Boxing Day for matchday 19 and start the second half at Norwich City – just two days after Brighton. Then it’s on to the coast to face Southampton four days later.

Five of Brighton’s eight losses have been on the road. Wins against both Brighton and Chelsea would leave Spurs on 32 points from nine wins, five draws, and five losses. More importantly the club would have six wins against only one defeat in seven league matches under Mourinho.

As the second half of the season begins, Spurs can extend their strong form and potentially stretch the bench with matches against two relegation favourites. Although they have been playing tough and Pukki can score at any time, the Canaries have only three wins on the season, one in their last 10 league matches. On just 12 points with a -18-goal differential, Spurs should have their way with Norwich City.

Then comes the trip to St. Mary’s, which won’t quite be as emotional now that Mauricio Pochettino is no longer at the helm. Now it is just a match with a team battling to stay above the drop zone. While the Saints have been improving of late, again, they are a team which Spurs should beat.

Next. Three things to expect as Tottenham host Chelsea. dark

Spurs midweek trip to the south coast is followed by their first cup action under Mourinho, as Tottenham travel to Riverside to take on Middlesbrough in Day 3 FA Cup action. The FA Cup may be Spurs most realistic opportunity to win any silverware this season.

That FA Cup match is also the last before a midweek break before a date with Liverpool. Lots of expectations rest on tomorrow’s game. If Spurs win, they’ll position themselves wonderfully going into the New Year.