Fresh from capturing an important win in the north-west, the Blues target three highly coveted points in front of home support. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton look at the derby in detail…
This last of the Premier League's 30 London derbies carries by far the most weight, accumulated over a season of cut and thrust between Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs in the battle for a top-four finish.
All three sides benefited from late goals at the weekend. Chelsea's was the ninth in the last 10 minutes or later in the league. The Blues have conceded eight in the same timeframe.
The winner by Bale against Southampton was Spurs' seventh, but they have conceded 10. The 1-0 victory was their first clean sheet in 10 league games but the Player of the Year's fourth strike in five Premier League outings.
We are attributing the Blues' goal that felled Manchester United to Juan Mata, at least for the moment: a Premier League committee is meeting shortly to decide whether it should be described as Phil Jones's own goal.
Arsenal and Spurs must have been betting against Chelsea managing our first league win in Stretford since 2010. Those three precious points mean that - with an advantage of 16 in goal difference - the Pensioners, on 71 points, would virtually guarantee a top-four finish with victory tonight.
A draw would require one more win from the two remaining matches to edge out Spurs. A defeat this evening would endanger Arsenal's Champions League qualification almost as much as Chelsea's.
It would leave tonight's teams level on 68, both able to achieve a maximum 74 points; Arsenal can only manage 73 at best. However, the Blues have a wonderful unbeaten run against Spurs at the Bridge stretching back to 1990 to protect.
Chelsea and Tottenham play twice before the Gunners kick another ball. Tuesday night's defeat for Wigan has taken the sting out of remaining fixtures. The likes of Newcastle, Stoke, Sunderland and Villa can play less under the threat of relegation. Who knows how that might affect their performance in these last few games.
|The race for the Champions League - Games remaining|
|Chelsea (3)||Arsenal (2)||Tottenham (3)|
|Tottenham (h)||Wigan (h)||Chelsea (a)|
|Aston Villa (a)||Newcastle (a)||Stoke (a)|
|Everton (h)||Sunderland (h)|
Victor Moses's (undisputed) strike against Basel last Thursday meant six players have scored 10 or more goals in all competitions for our club - equalling last season's record.
There is no doubting who has been the main catalyst - or should we say Matalyst - at Stamford Bridge this season. Juan Mata has been involved in 24 league goals either as scorer or creator.
White Hart Lane in October was one of the maestro's masterpieces, his two goals and assist underpinning Chelsea's hugely impressive 4-2 win.
The Spaniard's latest strike ensured United can now only equal their club record for a 38-game season with three points for a win of 91.
The man who signed the Spaniard to Chelsea, André Villas-Boas, returns to the Bridge tonight and he deserves a decent welcome. 'We did not do everything wrong [at Chelsea],' he said recently, 'but we could have done better.'
The then 35-year-old Portuguese was dismissed from his second Chelsea spell 13 months ago after managing a win percentage of 48. At Tottenham that has risen to 49 per cent.
Our Portuguese opponents in the Europa League final, Benfica, slipped up at home on Monday evening, drawing with Estoril. They now lead the SuperLiga by just two points from another of Villas-Boas's former clubs, Porto, and with a potentially decisive trip to Estádio do Dragão coming this weekend.
On Monday at Stamford Bridge the Chelsea Academy boys face a severe test in defence of their FA Youth Cup title. Having dominated the away first leg of the final with no reward, Adi Viveash's U18s must overturn a 0-1 deficit caused by Norwich's late penalty.
Tickets are still available and Adi has asked for Blues fans to support his young prodigies at the second leg.
Sunday's winner at Old Trafford edged Chelsea's total for the season to three behind our all-time goals record, set during the 2009/10 Double season.
142 in 2009/10
Most goals in a season
|Barclays Premier League top half|
The race for the Premier League Golden Boot
Robin van Persie 25
Luis Suarez 23
Gareth Bale 20
Christian Benteke 18
Demba Ba 15
Rickie Lambert 14
Romelu Lukaku 14
Dimitar Berbatov 13
Frank Lampard 13
Theo Walcott 13
The race for the Premier League Golden Glove
Joe Hart 17
Petr Cech 14
Pepe Reina 13
Asmir Begovic 12
|Top five mini league|
Premier London League P
11 West Ham
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WE HAVE HISTORY
Chelsea are looking to extend our unbeaten run against Tottenham at Stamford Bridge to 26 games in 23 years. We have won 16 and drawn nine, scoring 47 goals and conceding 18.
Tottenham have won just three of the 41 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 six matches in league and cup since Spurs won 2-1 at White Hart Lane in April 2010.
The Blues have never hosted Spurs in May before. The two have only met this month once before, at White Hart Lane on 10 May in the penultimate game of the 1998/99 season.
Chelsea were protecting a proud 12-year unbeaten record in N17 and retained hopes of taking a three-way title challenge into the final match of the season.
Memories of the previous season's 6-1 thrashing of the Lilywhites were revived when midfielder Gus Poyet stole in to head in Gianfranco Zola's free kick within the first five minutes (pictured below). It was the Uruguayan's 14th that season, much of which he had missed through injury.
From then on, though, Gianluca Vialli's men sat back and allowed Spurs back into the game. The hosts took full advantage, replying through Steffen Iversen from David Ginola's clever chip.
When Kevin Hitchcock was beaten a second time, this one a fine individual effort from Ginola after a mistake by Frank Leboeuf, it seemed Tottenham might at last break their hoodoo.
Vialli had other ideas and responded with a double substitution, bringing on Roberto Di Matteo along with the dynamic Dane, Bjarne Goldbaek. Minutes later Dennis Wise found Goldbaek in acres of space down the right, around 35 yards out.
The midfielder took two touches and unleashed a right-foot shot that flew over Ian Walker's hand and into the top-left corner of the goal. It was a remarkable strike and all the better for its preservation of the Blues' unbeaten run against Spurs.
However heroic the 2-2 draw, though, it left Arsenal and Manchester United out of reach at the top and the Blues finished third that season, just four points behind champions United.
Spurs last win at Stamford Bridge was 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
2002/03 - Drew 1-1
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
The reverse fixture this season
20 October 2012 Barclays Premier League
Gallas 46 Cahill 17
Defoe 54 Mata 66, 69
Chelsea v Tottenham in all competitions
Games played 147
Chelsea wins 62
Spurs wins 49
Head to head in the League at Stamford Bridge
Games played 64
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
Visit again at lunchtime for Part Two of the Briefing.