Following last weekend's away London derby just down the road, it's Chelsea's turn to host local rivals. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton look forward to a top-five contest…
This is the 150th match between Chelsea and Tottenham in all competitions, stretching back to a Joe Bradshaw winner for the Pensioners in December 1909. Should the Blues win what is usually a fiercely contested London derby, a 16-point distance between SW6 and N17 will emerge.
Happy birthday, Chelsea Football Club: 109 years old on Monday 10 March. Four league titles, seven FA Cups, four League Cups, four Youth Cups, two Cup Winners' Cups, one Europa League and London's only Champions League triumph.
Jose Mourinho expressed his concern about the timing of this match for live TV so soon after virtually the entire Chelsea squad returns from midweek internationals. The Blues have no Champions League involvement next week and the Cockerels' Europa action is not till Thursday, so a Sunday kick-off would have given both sets of players greater recovery time.
Unfortunately the process behind the scheduling of these televised matches remains private and therefore not subject to scrutiny.
Near-silence was golden during half-time at Craven Cottage last weekend. Mourinho's cursory pep-talk after a slothful opening 45 minutes seemed to jolt his players into action and Chelsea are now four points ahead at the top.
The game came too soon after Istanbul for some: like a Boxing Day match, Chelsea still had a bit of Turkey to run off.
All the players stepped up the energy levels after the break, notably Oscar, Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle. The latter displayed the sangfroid in front of goal that has often been lacking in Blues performances this season.
The attacking midfielder's maiden hat-trick for Chelsea was the second of his career after the three goals for Germany against Sweden last October. It was achieved in just 16 minutes and 34 seconds of the second half but was not as quick as substitute Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's treble against Wolves in March 2004, which took just 13 minutes and helped us to a 5-2 victory.
Andre is the third German to score a Barclays Premier League hat-trick after Fredi Bobic of Bolton and Tottenham favourite Jurgen Klinsmann, and the last three top-flight trebles have been by Blues men. Only six other sides in Premier League history have produced three individual hat-trick scorers over the same campaign, and none as many times as the pride of London's three.
Up to now only Manchester United and Arsenal and have managed four in one Premier League season… watch this space.
Three hat-trick scorers in same season
LEEDS 1992/93: Eric Cantona, Gordon Strachan, Rod Wallace.
CHELSEA 1997/98: Tore Andre Flo, Gianluca Vialli, Gianfranco Zola.
MAN UTD 1999/00: Andrew Cole, Paul Scholes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Dwight Yorke.
ARSENAL 2000/01: Thierry Henry, Ray Parlour, Sylvain Wiltord.
ARSENAL 2002/03: Thierry Henry, Freddie Ljungberg, Jermaine Pennant, Robert Pires.
NEWCASTLE 2010/11: Leon Best, Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan.
FULHAM 2011/12: Clint Dempsey, Andrew Johnson, Pavel Pogrebnyak.
MAN CITY 2011/12: Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Carlos Tevez.
(Thanks to Martin Tyler and Opta for the above.)
With Arsenal and Manchester City involved in the FA Cup and Liverpool having no fixture this weekend, the opportunity is there for the current leaders to pull seven points clear with nine league games to go.
Pressure would increase on Capital One Cup winners City not to slip up in any of the three games they have in hand: the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Tuesday 25 March and Aston Villa and Sunderland (postponed as a result of bad weather) at home, both still to be rescheduled.
The Citizens already face the prospect of fixtures being concertina-ed into the decisive final weeks of the season. Progress to the FA Cup semi-finals would necessitate the rearrangement of their increasingly intriguing away trip to Liverpool, currently set for 13 April; a draw with Wigan on Sunday would make matters even worse.
Football's equivalent of the 'butterfly's wing' ultimately influencing events on the other side of the world could easily include the non-punishment of Manchester City player Yaya Toure for kicking out at Norwich's Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
Interestingly, had the FA seen the incident differently the Ivorian might have missed three games: our FA Cup meeting, the league fixture against Stoke and Sunday's cup final. Instead he scored the winner against the Potters and the vital equaliser at Wembley.
Visitors Tottenham top the 'away' table over the season so far with nine wins on the road, but on recent showings - the last five trips - they slip to third behind Manchester City and Chelsea.
The staff of one newspaper were not alone in pondering the wisdom of Spurs replacing Andre Villas-Boas with someone lacking any Premier League management experience. However, few others actually thought Tottenham were installing a former Radio 1 hip hop guru. The headline ran: 'SAM ALLARDYCE WARNS TIM WESTWOOD: DON'T DO IT!'
They were wide of the mark on both counts fi real (as Tim W might say). Since 22 December Sherwood has pimped Spurs' ride with a more attacking brand of football. They have risen from seventh to fifth in the table and play the first leg of their Europa League Round of 16 tie against Benfica next Thursday.
Chelsea have just completed our most successful winter period for years, as the 'Yellow Ball table' below shows. Back in the title-winning season of 2004/05 the Blues gained 42 points from 16 matches between November and March.
|Yellow ball final table|
This will be the second of four London derbies in five league games. In two weeks' time the Blues host Arsenal, followed by a trip to Selhurst Park.
|Premier London League|
Spurs have so far taken one point from games against Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal - in our 1-1 meeting at White Hart Lane. They face the Gunners at home a week on Sunday.
|Top seven mini-league *|
*Points won from games between the teams in the current top seven
The race for the Premier League Golden Boot
Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 24
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) 18
Sergio Aguero (Man City) 15
Loic Remy (Newcastle) 13
Yaya Toure (Man City) 13
Eden Hazard 12
Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) 12
The race for the Premier League Golden Glove
Petr Cech 12
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) 12
Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal) 12
Tim Howard (Everton) 10
John Ruddy (Norwich) 10
Barclays Premier League fixtures
West Brom v Manchester United 12.45pm - BT Sport
Cardiff v Fulham 3pm
Crystal Palace v Southampton 3pm
Norwich v Stoke 3pm
Chelsea v Tottenham 5.30pm - Sky Sports
The matches between Arsenal and Swansea, Manchester City and Aston Villa, Newcastle and Everton, Liverpool and Sunderland and West Ham and Hull were postponed due to the FA Cup quarter-finals.
|Barclays Premier League table - top eight|
Click on tabs above for more briefing.
WE HAVE HISTORY
Forty-nine years ago on Wednesday 10 March 1965, the 60th anniversary of Chelsea's foundation at the Rising Sun pub across the way on the Fulham Road, Tommy Docherty's side entertained Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.
Similarly to this weekend the Blues were leaders of Division One (a point ahead of Leeds) and Bill Nicholson's visitors 11 points behind in fifth. A crowd of 51,000 watched under the floodlights.
A 'hard match; fast and admirably controlled,' was how The Times saw it. 'But Tottenham were spent too soon for this to be the match it might have been. In the second half they contrived scarcely a movement to mention.'
This despite the presence in the Lilywhites' ranks of prolific former Chelsea golden boy Jimmy Greaves. In fact the hosts - 'on a crest of a wave of confidence' - wrested control of the game in a flurry of energy towards the end of a half in which honours had been even.
The change began with an impudent 40-yard shot from scheming Blues midfielder Terry Venables (pictured below). His off-the-cuff strike caught Bill Brown entirely by surprise and the goalkeeper misjudged the flight, the crowd exploding as Venables' missive looped just under the bar and into the net.
Once beaten, Brown had to fend off two more shots in rapid order, but he could do nothing when Bobby Tambling left full-back Cyril Knowles for dead, homed in on goal and shot high and fiercely past him at the near post.
The quick-fire 2-0 knocked the stuffing out of Spurs, who rarely looked like reducing the deficit after the break. Docherty's men piled on the pressure with no further reward until 15 minutes to go, when George Graham slipped a ball behind for Barry Bridges to hare onto. Bridges rounded Brown to make it 3-0.
Alan Gilzean hit back swiftly in consolation but the night finished with Chelsea three points clear at the top and Spurs down to sixth.
Back to the present and Chelsea are looking to extend our unbeaten run against Tottenham at Stamford Bridge to 27 games in 24 years. We have won 16 and drawn 10, scoring 49 goals and conceding 20.
Tottenham have won just three of the 43 Premier League matches with Chelsea. All have come at White Hart Lane in the last seven years.
Chelsea are unbeaten home and away against Tottenham in eight matches in league and cup since Spurs won 2-1 at White Hart Lane in April 2010.
Spurs' last win at Stamford Bridge was 24 years ago in February 1990 in the old First Division when they won 2-1 with goals from David Howells and Gary Lineker. John Bumstead replied for Chelsea.
Our last 10 league meetings at Stamford Bridge
2003/04 - Chelsea won 4-2
2004/05 - Drew 0-0
2005/06 - Chelsea won 2-1
2006/07 - Chelsea won 1-0
2007/08 - Chelsea won 2-0
2008/09 - Drew 1-1
2009/10 - Chelsea won 3-0
2010/11 - Chelsea won 2-1
2011/12 - Drew 0-0
2012/13 - Drew 2-2
The reverse fixture this season
28 September 2013 Barclays Premier League
Sigurdsson 19 Terry 65
Chelsea v Tottenham in all competitions
Games played 149
Chelsea wins 62
Spurs wins 49
Head to head in the League at Stamford Bridge
Games played 65
Chelsea wins 31
Spurs wins 19
Biggest league win at Stamford Bridge for each team
Chelsea 4-0 Tottenham - 13/03/2002
Chelsea 0-4 Tottenham - 16/10/1920 and 30/09/1933
Chelsea lost at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League: 430
Tottenham won at Stamford Bridge: 8,792
Arsenal won a trophy: 3,213
Liverpool won the league: 8,708