Tottenham (+154) at Chelsea (+165), Draw (+229)
Tottenham (19-12-4, 69 points) might not have a chance to win the English Premier League title by the time they take the field on Monday, but that won’t lessen their motivation to beat their London rivals when they visit Chelsea (12-
11-11, 47 points) at Stamford Bridge (3:00 PM Eastern, May 2nd).
By the time Spurs and Chelsea kick-off, Leicester City will have already played Manchester United, and a win for the Foxes will clinch the EPL title. Tottenham wouldn’t be in this situation just yet if they’d held serve last weekend, but the team let two points get away in a 1-1 home draw against West Brom. That said, they have firmly staked their claim to second-place by going undefeated in seven straight. Spurs now hold a five-point lead over both Man City and Arsenal.
Chelsea already know that they’ll have nothing to play for except pride. They can’t reach the top-five and won’t be going to next year’s Champions League, or even Europa League. But they would still love to dash the hopes of their cross-town rivals once and for all.
On an individual level, many of the team’s high-priced players are now auditioning for their own jobs. New manager Antonio Conte will have both eyes squarely focused on next season, and many of the Blues need to prove they can be part of a championship caliber squad.
No one acquitted themselves terribly well in Chelsea’s recent 3-0 home loss to Man City, but most of the team looked much better last time out, routing Bournemouth 4-1 on the road. Eden Hazard got a colossal gorilla off his back by scoring his first two goals of the EPL season. Pedro Rodriguez and Willian also scored for the Blues. Cesc Fabregas played one of his best games of the year, as well, setting up three of the four tallies.
Chelsea have won three straight against Tottenham at Stamford Bridge, outscoring Spurs 9-0. Their earlier meeting this season at White Hart Lane ended scoreless. Though Chelsea are having a down year, this London derby is its own matter, and the Blues have dominated it of late. They should be able to muster the energy to pull out another win at home. There’s certainly value on the home side at +165.
Pick: Chelsea (+165).
(Photo Credit: CFCUnofficial (Chelsea Debs) (Spurs 5 Chelsea 3) CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)