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Stuart Dalgleish 19th Sep 2009 - 13:09

Spurs still won’t Bridge the gap at Chelsea

After five fairly straightforward opening games, Chelsea face their toughest test yet as they host Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.

It's fair to say that Spurs haven't exactly enjoyed their trips to this part of London having not won there since 1990, but Harry Redknapp's side are undefeated in their last four games against the Blues.

Tottenham's most recent encounter with Chelsea was the last time that the home team lost a league match - winning 12 out of 13 games since that defeat, and one more win against Spurs on Sunday would set a club record of 11 consecutive wins.

You have to say that Chelsea will fancy their chances of getting that record with how they've started the season; while the quality of opposition aren't in the same class as Spurs they've showed tremendous battling qualities to come from behind three times to win - something which Redknapp is all too familiar with after seeing his team throw away an early lead against Manchester United last weekend.

Not only do Tottenham have a poor overall record against Chelsea (previous to the last four games anyway), they also have some serious dilemma's to figure out as playmaker Luka Modric - who scored the winner for Spurs at White Hart Lane last season - is still out injured and Robbie Keane is clearly not his replacement out on the left wing.

An option could be yet another signing from Portsmouth, Niko Kranjcar - the Croatian is not a like for like replacement but would almost certainly be more effective than the struggling Irishman, he and Aaron Lennon will be getting at Chelsea's full-backs all afternoon but I think John Terry and co should have the reading of Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch (if they both start) to stop them causing too many problems.

With Chelsea unbeaten in 13 home league games it will come as no surprise to see them as the favourites at 8/15, surely the biggest price you'll see Carlo Ancelotti's side against one of the none 'Big Four' teams at the Bridge. The draw is priced at 14/5, while Tottenham - who haven't won at one of the 'Big Four' since 1993 are a whopping 6/1.

Didier Drogba returns to the Chelsea squad after his suspension from the Champions League, and the Ivorian will be chomping at the bit to get on the score sheet - can he do it with the opening goal though? 9/2 says he does.

With Jermain Defoe scoring eight goals in 11 starts since returning to the club, he will undoubtedly be Tottenham's main goal threat and is available at an attractive looking 15/2 to notch the first of the 90 minutes - an each way winner in three of the last four matches.

Of course once you've had your pre-match bets, make sure you stay with us here at William Hill as you won't find a better in-running product than our In-Play service which will be bring you a massive range of live markets to bet on.


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