Chelsea host Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night at Stamford Bridge, and it’s a game Chelsea must win at all cost to keep up pace with Arsenal and Manchester United who are both currently ahead of Chelsea.
Chelsea have bounced back from the heavy defeat to Manchester City and the FA Cup loss to Manchester United, with a good performance against Malmo and City in the Carabao Cup final.
BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson is predicting a 1-1 draw for tonight’s game.
The BBC Sport pundit said: “I thought Chelsea played well in the Carabao Cup final, but what happened with Kepa Arrizabalaga obviously overshadowed any improvement in their performance.
“Maurizio Sarri needs to sort out Kepa but a telling off and a fine is all it will take.
“The problem with what happened is that it gives the impression that the manager is not in control and, on the back of the results he has had, it makes a bad situation even worse.
“But it is done and now they both just need to move on. If they do, then as the number one Kepa should be in goal for this game and he will have the chance to redeem himself on the pitch.
“Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino also had a frustrating weekend.
“He was in the news for his reaction after Saturday’s defeat by Burnley.
“I had predicted a draw, knowing that Harry Kane was coming back. Part of my thinking was that, when a team’s best player is out, you get a little bit extra from all the other players. When he returns, they relax a tiny bit.
“It is going to take time for Kane to get back to his best but Spurs are on a tough run. They have got the north London derby against Arsenal coming up at the weekend too.”
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson is also predicting a draw and he thinks the game will end 2-2.
He said: “Well, the pressure is off Tottenham now so they’ll be like the Harlem Globetrotters again. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about them, where they get into a position to make things happen, and it doesn’t happen!
“This is not a fluke, this is quite worrying now if you’re a Tottenham fan. At half-time against Wolves in December, if you’re a Spurs fan you’re thinking: ‘We are right in this title race.’ 1-0 at half-time and cruising. They then get well beat.
“People were telling me: ‘They’re tired, they’re jaded,’ but they were 3-0 up against Cardiff in 26 minutes three days later. They then claw themselves back into the title race, go to Burnley knowing a win puts real pressure on, and they never look like winning it.
“I’ll go for a draw, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Tottenham won it after Chelsea’s hard work on Sunday.”