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Chelsea can re-ignite top four finish hopes with the win over Tottenham

The race for the Premier League’s top four is red-hot. Five teams are currently competing for the final top four spots, as Manchester City are already nailed on to finish in the Champions League places. Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea are one of the five sides scratching and clawing for a spot in the final four. However, the Blues currently sit fifth and are five points behind fourth place Tottenham. That distance could be narrowed this weekend as Chelsea host Tottenham in Sunday’s marquee Premier League match.

The Blues currently sit on 56 points and unless the team can reel in Tottenham, Antonio Conte’s side looks likely to spend next season in the Europa League. The Blues are a +250 Betfreebet to get into the top four, which is longer odds than the team’s rivals of Manchester United, Liverpool and Spurs.

There is no denying Chelsea have lacked the cutting-edge and overall form that saw them romp to the Premier League title in 2016-17. But few would have expected the Blues to fall to a possible fifth place finish this term. Sunday’s fixture against Tottenham is a chance at some redemption and an opportunity for Chelsea to make up lost ground.

Recent history bodes well for Conte’s team. Chelsea have won three of their last six games against Tottenham, and in that timespan, the Blues have lost just once to their London rivals. Chelsea won the earlier meeting between the two clubs, 2-1. The Blues picked up the victory thanks to two Marcos Alonso goals on either side of a Michy Batshuayi own goal. The Blues may have scored all the goals, but the team was far from dominating the fixture. Spurs kept over 67% of the possession and outshot Chelsea 18 to nine.

Tottenham go into the match without their top scorer Harry Kane. The England international is recovering from an ankle ligament injury he suffered during Tottenham’s 4-1 win over Bournemouth in early March. The striker has tallied 41% of Spurs’ goals this season. However, with Kane on the sidelines, teammate Son Heung Min has stepped up and scored goals for Tottenham in recent wins. Son has scored seven goals in his last five matches for Tottenham in all competitions. He has picked up the slack for Kane, but the big question is can the South Korean keep up his form at Stamford Bridge?

Chelsea still have plenty to play for this term, despite being out of the running for the Premier League trophy. The team can land a spot in the top four, and it can still win the FA Cup. Conte’s team will play Southampton on April 22 in the tournament’s semi-finals. A win would see the Blues into the May final at Wembley against either Tottenham or Manchester United. While the league campaign has failed to reach the levels of last year, the Blues can still end 2017-18 with a trophy. It most likely won’t keep Conte in the Stamford Bridge manager’s chair. The Blues are expected to part ways with Conte at the end of the season.

If the Blues can win against Tottenham for a second time this season, Chelsea’s hopes for a top four finish will be ignited once more. A loss on Sunday, and the Blues can expect Europa League football next term.

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