Tottenham eye early Christmas joy against Chelsea

Updated: 21 December 2011 10:48 IST

Tottenham Hotspur have earned themselves the perfect opportunity to celebrate Christmas as London's top club in the English Premier League.

London:

Tottenham Hotspur have earned themselves the perfect opportunity to celebrate Christmas as London's top club in the English Premier League.

Harry Redknapp's players are already assured of a higher Premier League placing than Arsenal, come December 25 and will also keep Chelsea below them if they avoid defeat at home to Andre Villas-Boas' side on Thursday.

And third-place Tottenham, who will kick off two points ahead of their fourth-placed visitors, also possess a game in hand over all the other clubs in the running for European qualification.

Tottenham and Chelsea both have some way to go to catch up with the two Manchester clubs at the top of the table but Sandro, Tottenham's Brazil midfielder, was confident that could happen, especially if Chelsea were beaten.

"It can give us the belief that we can win the title," he said. "If we win this game, the only way will be up for us. We can make a big statement, although it will be a very difficult game.

"But we are playing at home and that is very good because the support is very good and that helps us. Yes, we can win the title. Why not? Every single player in the squad is good, we are a strong team and our bench is strong as well."

Chelsea have not won any of their last five visits to White Hart Lane and were last able to celebrate victory there in the Premier League in August 2005.

And they were given a pre-match scare when captain John Terry was injured in front of thousands of supporters who were attending an open training session at Stamford Bridge.

Terry was already suffering from a sore knee after Saturday's 1-1 draw at Wigan and was hurt when he went to block a shot.

It was feared he might have suffered damage to his Achilles but tests proved the damage was not serious and the centre-back is expected to play.

Chelsea are hoping fellow defender David Luiz and midfielder Ramires will also be able to make returns from injury after both missed the trip to Wigan.

Tottenham also have injury concerns with Aaron Lennon already ruled out with a hamstring tear and fellow wide-man Gareth Bale a doubt because of an ankle problem.

Tottenham struggled to overcome Sunderland at the weekend but in the end did come out victorious by the only goal and a win against their neighbours will earn them a five-point cushion.

Chelsea know they could potentially go into the new year more than 10 points behind the leaders but striker Daniel Sturridge was adamant no-one should write them off yet.

"Saturday's draw was upsetting because we worked so hard but conceded a goal right at the very end," he said. "It was frustrating for everyone and it's important we bounce straight back, which we will.

"We have stepped up to the challenge in the last few weeks and will continue to fight for the Premier League title.

"It is the best league in the world because every team in the top six can still win it. We are one of those six teams and I believe we can win it.

"There are still five months to go and people would be stupid to assume Chelsea are out of the title race. We are going to fight to the last game."

Topics : Football Tottenham Hotspur Steven Gerrard Birmingham City Liverpool Arsenal Everton Mark Hughes Alex Ferguson Manchester City Chelsea English Premier League
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