The Chelsea fans are feeling apprehensive in the Transfer Tavern ahead of one of their most important fixtures of the season so far against their London-rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Antonio Conte welcomes Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side to Stamford Bridge this afternoon for a fixture which could have a decisive impact on the race for the top-four. Prior to kick-off, just 5 points will separate the two sides, but a defeat will see The Blues cut-off from the Champions League places with just 7 fixtures left to play.
The importance of this fixture for Chelsea cannot be expressed highly enough, especially for Conte who will be in huge danger of losing his job if he fails to qualify for the Champions League this season. Considering the quality of Tottenham’s form of late, there’s no doubt that it will be a tough afternoon for Chelsea, but their 2-1 victory over Leicester City in the quarter-final of the FA Cup should give them confidence ahead of their season-defining fixture.
Alvaro Morata finally returned to goal-scoring ways at The King Power Stadium two weekends ago after he took Willian’s through ball in his stride before calmly placing the ball beyond an onrushing Kasper Schmeichel. Willian continued his brilliant run of form of late with his direct run and perfectly weighted pass which made the goal, but the Brazilian cannot be expected to carry Chelsea on a week by week basis, so Morata has to step up to the plate once again this afternoon.
Since moving to Stamford Bridge, Morata has been heavily criticised for both the quality of his overall performances and his goal-scoring prowess. He actually began his career in West London in promising fashion, but after a decent opening, he has slumped into a barren run of form which has served to tarnish his debut season in English football.
But his composed finish against Leicester proved he has the ability to find the back of the net in the big games, and he must prove that once again this afternoon to convince the sceptical Chelsea supporters that he can succeed at the club. The 25-year-old Spaniard hasn’t consistently delivered the standard you would expect from a player who cost the club £59.4 million, but a match-winning performance against Spurs this afternoon would do wonders for both his reputation and his confidence moving into the business end of the season.
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