Tottenham versus Chelsea has been mostly a one-sided affair, historically and recently. However, the Spurs are on the rise, while Chelsea seems ready to wobble, making the time right for a Tottenham win, which would be a real show of Spurs’ growth in just seven months under Conte’s leadership.
Chelsea has dominated Tottenham historically and recently
Historically, Spurs versus Chelsea has been less of a rivalry and more about Chelsea’s dominance over Tottenham. In 143 matches before their game this Sunday, Chelsea has won 69 times (48%) compared to just 39 wins (27%) for Spurs.
Of all the teams Tottenham has faced at least 50 times, Spurs have a lower win percentage against only Manchester United (26.1%) and Liverpool (25.7%). If we look at Spurs’ record on the road against Chelsea, the win percentage drops even more to 22%, with Spurs winning only 16 times in 73 matches on the road against Chelsea.
In the Premier League era, Tottenham has only won once at Stamford Bridge and twice as the road team, if you include the 2007/08 win over the Blues at Wembley in the League Cup final.
Recent history has been even worse for Tottenham, with Spurs having failed to score against the Blues in the last six matches.
Erik Lamela was the last Spur to score against Chelsea as a late substitute; in a game, Spurs eventually won on penalties in the fourth round of the 2020/21 League Cup game played behind closed doors due to Covid.
Before that September 2020 win, you must go back more than two years to find a Spurs win against the Blues during week 13 of the 2018/19 Premier League season. The bottom line is that Tottenham traditionally does not beat Chelsea unless Spurs are really good.
A Tottenham win over Chelsea would be an objective statement of intent
During the heyday of Mauricio Pochettino‘s reign at Tottenham, one of the highlights was his success against Chelsea. The Argentine gaffer had five wins and two draws against seven defeats in his 14 games against Chelsea in charge of the Lilywhites.
While his 36% win percentage is not that much better than the club’s historical mark, the nature of the wins, including a triumphant 1-3 win at Stamford Bridge, were clear indicators of the team’s intent.
After losing three times last season, as a primarily undermanned squad still learning under Conte, many Spurs players likely have some payback on their minds. Several players who were part of that big win in January 2018 are still on the team, including Harry Kane and Eric Dier, and those leaders know what it takes to win at Chelsea.
Knowing and doing are two different things, all of which tell us that if Tottenham can beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, it could be the start of something extraordinary.