All eyes turn to the battle for European qualification in the Premier League this week. We look ahead to Thursday’s London derby with our Chelsea vs Tottenham prediction and preview.

Chelsea vs Tottenham Stats: The Quick Hits

  • Chelsea are considered slight favourites for Thursday’s clash at Stamford Bridge, winning 39.6% of the Opta supercomputer’s pre-match simulations to Tottenham’s 32.4%.
  • Mauricio Pochettino could become the first coach to complete a Premier League double over Spurs having previously managed them in the competition.
  • Cole Palmer has scored a hat-trick in each of his last two Premier League home games – against Manchester United and Everton. The only player to ever score three or more goals in three straight home games in the competition is Erling Haaland, who did so last season.

Match Preview

Tottenham failed to dent Arsenal’s Premier League title aspirations in Sunday’s North London derby, a 3-2 defeat also doing nothing for their hopes of UEFA Champions League qualification. They would have been grateful for Chelsea holding their top-four rivals Aston Villa on Saturday, but if they are to haul in the Villans, they surely need to make the most of Thursday’s game in hand against the Blues.

After last weekend’s results, Tottenham sit seven points adrift of Villa with two games in hand, and they still have daunting clashes with Liverpool and Manchester City to come. In the Opta supercomputer’s season predictions, their chances of a top-four finish are estimated at 13.6% to Villa’s 86.4%.

A rousing second-half display wasn’t enough for Spurs against their neighbours, as they failed to find an equaliser after Cristian Romero and Son Heung-min capitalised on Arsenal errors to threaten a fightback. Ange Postecoglou’s side found themselves 3-0 down within just 38 minutes, the second earliest either team has ever held a three-goal lead in a Premier League north London derby, after Arsenal went three up in 34 minutes in September 2021.

Tottenham v Arsenal xG race

Two of Arsenal’s goals came from corners as Tottenham’s set-piece woes continued. Five teams have conceded more goals than Spurs’ 12 from set-piece situations in the Premier League this season, but only Manchester United (15.3) and Burnley (14.9) have allowed their opponents a higher cumulative expected goals (xG) figure from such situations than their 14.3.

Guglielmo Vicario will hope to be spared similar treatment on Thursday, with Chelsea totalling the fewest shots from set-piece scenarios – excluding penalties – in the Premier League this season, with 83. No other team has attempted fewer than 100, and only Burnley (7.99) and Spurs (8.22) have accumulated a lower xG figure from dead balls than the Blues (8.24).

Destiny Udogie, who was sent off in the reverse fixture in November, is out for the rest of the season as is fellow defender Ben Davies, while former Chelsea forward Timo Werner is ruled out for the remainder of 2023-24 after sustaining a hamstring issue against Arsenal.

Having overseen Chelsea’s remarkable 4-1 triumph at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium earlier this season, Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino could become the first coach to ever complete a Premier League double over Spurs having previously managed them in the competition.

Pochettino was left to rue a VAR call after Axel Disasi saw a potential stoppage-time winner chalked off in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Villa, saying the technology had “damaged” English football as Benoît Badiashile was adjudged to have fouled Diego Carlos in the build-up.

That result could still be viewed positively after Chelsea found themselves 2-0 down at the break, though, with Noni Madueke and Conor Gallagher on target in the second half. Stand-in captain Gallagher, who was strongly linked with Tottenham earlier in the season, has now reached 10 goal involvements (four goals, six assists) in a Premier League season for just the second time, previously scoring eight and adding three assists for Crystal Palace in 2021-22.

Conor Gallagher goal involvements premier league 2023-24

Pochettino’s side now sit four points adrift of seventh-placed Newcastle United in ninth, and with at least one game in hand on all of the teams around them, they remain well in contention for European qualification.

Star forward Cole Palmer was uncharacteristically quiet at Villa Park after recovering from illness, missing one great chance shortly before Disasi’s disallowed goal.

Palmer should be relishing a return to Stamford Bridge, though, having scored a hat-trick in each of his last two Premier League games there (three goals versus Man Utd, four against Everton). Only one player has ever scored three or more goals in three straight home Premier League matches, with Erling Haaland doing so against Palace, Nottingham Forest and Manchester United last season.

Palmer has also scored on each of his last seven home Premier League appearances, netting a total of 13 goals throughout this run. It is the longest home scoring streak recorded by a Chelsea player in Premier League history.

Thiago Silva is being assessed after suffering a groin injury at Villa, amid fears he may have played his final game for Chelsea ahead of his summer departure. Reece James and Ben Chilwell are still working their way back to fitness while fellow full-back Malo Gusto is doubtful with a knee issue.

It could, then, be another makeshift Blues backline on Thursday, and Chelsea have already conceded 59 Premier League goals this season, their most in a single campaign in the competition. They last shipped 60 in a single season in the old First Division in 1991-92 (60).

Chelsea vs Tottenham Head-to-Head

Chelsea beat nine-man Tottenham 4-1 in a memorable encounter in November, with Nicolas Jackson exploiting Postecoglou’s daring high line to score a hat-trick after Palmer’s penalty had cancelled out Dejan Kulusevski’s opener.

The Blues have done the Premier League double over Spurs on nine previous occasions, only achieving the feat more often against Man City (10 times). Tottenham, meanwhile, have only lost twice in the same season more often against United (10).

United are also the only team to record more Premier League wins over Spurs than Chelsea have, the Red Devils beating them 39 times to the Blues’ 34.

At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have only lost one of the last 33 league meetings between the teams, going down 3-1 in April 2018 when Pochettino was in the Tottenham dugout.

Recent Form

Tottenham have lost back-to-back Premier League games against Newcastle (0-4) and Arsenal (2-3). They last lost three in a row in the competition in November 2023, while they last did so while conceding three or more goals in each match in September 2021 – both runs included losses against Chelsea.

Tottenham have also lost two of their last three away games in the Premier League (versus Newcastle and Fulham), while drawing the other (at West Ham).

That is as many defeats as they suffered in their previous 14 on the road (seven wins, five draws), while they also failed to score in both losses, having only failed to net in two of their previous 34 on their travels.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have enjoyed a major upturn at home lately. Having only won one of 14 Premier League games at Stamford Bridge between March and November last year (seven draws, six defeats), they have won seven of their last nine on home soil (one draw, one loss).

The Blues have also scored 29 goals through their last 10 home league games, as many as they managed in their previous 27 such matches.

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off at Stamford Bridge, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Chelsea vs Tottenham Predicted Lineups

chelsea predicted lineup vs Tottenham
tottenham predicted lineup vs Chelsea

Chelsea vs Tottenham Prediction

Thursday’s derby appears a difficult contest to call, and the Opta supercomputer concurs.

Chelsea are slight favourites, winning 39.6% of the 10,000 match simulations conducted by the supercomputer ahead of kick-off.

Tottenham are given a 32.4% chance of victory, with 28% of scenarios seeing the points shared.

The supercomputer’s season predictions do not make for great reading for either team. Tottenham finish fifth – likely missing out on Champions League football – in 82.8% of simulations, while Chelsea finish eighth in a league-high 48.8% of scenarios, their hopes of a top-seven finish rated at 31.8%.

Chelsea vs Tottenham opta match prediction

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