Tottenham vs Chelsea: Why Match Could Set the Tone for the Rest of Spurs' Season
Are you enjoying the wonders of World Cup qualifying? Because I know I have been.
While international football has taken center stage for the past week, the return of club football sits just a few days away. For Tottenham, this means a huge match sits just on the horizon, as reigning European champions Chelsea travel to White Hart Lane on Saturday.
So just how big is this match for Spurs?
The league standings
For Tottenham, the true goal of the 2012-13 season is a top-four finish and entry into the 2013-14 Champions League.
Sure, there are some distractions along the way, what with the League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League fixtures popping up, but the season will only be judged by Spurs' Premier League finish.
At the moment, Tottenham currently sits in fifth position, trailing fourth-placed Everton merely on goal differential. Chelsea, on the other hand, sit atop the table with a five-point gap between them and Spurs.
Obviously, to establish their place in the top four, Spurs will have to get a few good results against the upper-echelon of the Premier League. The win at Old Trafford was a step in the right direction, but Tottenham will definitely be looking for a few more results in that vein.
A win against the league-leaders would be a great result that moves Tottenham within two points of the top of the Premier League, pushing them on towards their ultimate goal.
On the other hand, a home loss to the likes of Chelsea would just widen the gap and force leave Spurs in a dog-fight for fourth.
If you have forgotten, Spurs new manager Andre Villas-Boas started last season as the manager of Chelsea and did not leave on the happiest of terms.
After losing the dressing-room and having his players turn on him to a certain extent, AVB had his tenure cut short by an owner who had pledged to back him.
Now, this is of course not an indictment of Chelsea; after all, AVB was clearly not getting the most out of his squad, as evidenced by his replacement taking them on to win the Champions League.
However, from his point of view, AVB must feel hard-done-by and be looking for a way to get back at his former club.
Hence, a win would probably make the manager ecstatic and thus provide the club with a big lift, while a loss would do quite the opposite.
You have to remember that these two clubs have very new looks this season after busy August transfer windows.
It's obviously very easy to get on with things and have confidence in yourself and your teammates in the midst of winning.
However, these groups have not proven their abilities to overcome adversity and fight through tough times.
Sure, one can point to Spurs' rough start, but that was before many of their newest acquisitions even kicked a ball.
If one of these two sides loses on Saturday, it should be interesting to follow their next couple of matches and see if their heads go down a bit.
So what do you think?
Do you see this match as an important step in Spurs' run to the top four? Or do you see it as just another match?
And what do you think will happen come Saturday?
Share your opinions in the comment section below.
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