Jose Mourinho is spending the run up to Christmas bothering his exes. Having been round to Manchester United’s house two weeks ago to try and score, he’s now inviting Chelsea round to his new gaff for a mince pie and some sherry. I reckon it’s all building up to a blockbuster EastEnders Christmas Day special. You can hear the drum break already.
This will be the first time Spurs have welcomed one of the other big six sides to their new home for a league game, though they did face Manchester City there in the Champions League last season. They can’t do much worse than they did at Wembley, where they only won one of their five top six clashes in 2018/19, albeit against Chelsea.
And it’s not as if the Blues have done well in the big games either. They’ve lost three out of three in the league this season, and United won at the Bridge in the cup too. Chelsea’s last league win at a ‘big six’ ground came at Tottenham – well, Wembley – in August 2017 and they’ve only drawn three from 11 since.
Since Jose joined Spurs, they’ve won four of their five league games while Chelsea have lost four out of five in that time. The Blues’ previous win against Spurs at their actual home ground was so long ago, Frank Lampard played and Mourinho was in his third year at Real Madrid, forcing his way out having just signed a four year contract extension. Jose is genuinely the best villain Albert Square has never had.
Chelsea have been the kings of entertainment on the road this season. All eight of their league games away from Stamford Bridge have paid out on over 2.5 goals, and there has been a frankly ridiculous 37 goals in total.
It has been a similar story for Mourinho’s Tottenham, with their five league games seeing 21 goals in total, and at least three in every match. But that hasn’t been the case when Spurs have hosted big six games in the last few years – their 15 since August 2016 have seen fewer than three goals on nine occasions, the most of any team in that time. It’s not as if Jose has been fond of free-flowing, enjoyable football over the years either.
But with neither team having a better defensive record than Newcastle, Brighton or Bournemouth this season, we have to expect goals.
Additionally, Tottenham are joint-top of the ‘both teams to score’ table, and they’ll maintain their lofty position here.
Alternative: Both teams to score – 4/9
It’s always hard to pick scorer bets when both teams have barely troubled the net in recent big matches. Tottenham’s five home games against the rest of the top teams saw them score five goals in total last season, while Chelsea have only scored three goals in their last eight league matches against the big six on the road.
Harry Kane netted against the Blues in both home meetings last season, and is always the default bet when Spurs are on the card.
For slightly better odds, consider Dele Alli. He has been like a man reborn since Mourinho arrived and got rid of his brother. I think maybe Jose confused Dele Alli with Ali Dia? Anyway, Dele has scored six goals against Chelsea over the years, making them his joint-favourite opponent.
Chelsea’s trio of away goals in big league matches since March 2018 have been bagged by Marcos Alonso, N’golo Kante and Olivier Giroud. They have nobody with any kind of form in this area. Giroud has had one Chelsea appearance each month since Lampard joined, so I guess this could be the one for December?
It might be time for Christian Pulisic to net his first big goal for the Blues. In his last four league matches he has taken 13 shots in the box, including three clear-cut chances, and missed the lot. Perhaps the American can put a dagger through Mourinho’s defence ahead of a showdown in the Queen Vic next Wednesday? Enjoy the festive season, friends.