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Chelsea lowdown

Posted on 8 January 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Would the real Chelsea please stand up. Or maybe not. It might just be the one that thumped Liverpool 4-0 at Stamford Bridge - or the one that triumphed 3-0 against the champions at Old Trafford.

As far as Wednesday night goes, the Chelsea that fell to home defeat to Charlton and Southampton might ease our passage to the second leg and, hopefully, the final of the Worthington Cup.

Who knows? Claudio Ranieri seems at a loss to explain his side's results this season and was quoted after defeat to Charlton as saying simply 'crazy Chelsea'.

This is not a new thing, many a side over the years has raised their game against the glamour clubs and fallen flat on their faces when three points appeared to be their for the taking.

Liverpool, over recent years have dealt with the threat of Manchester United but dropped points to teams down the bottom. Arsenal have suffered a similar malaise.

The one team who seems to beat the teams they 'should' beat is Sir Alex Ferguson's men, who have lost to Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal during the course of a season but don't seem to drop shock points as a rule.

Whether it is a question of motivation is open to debate, but it can't be hard to lift a side for a six-point clash, while maybe complacency or self-doubt creeps in when the odds-n favourites tag is applied.

Glenn feels that the hyper-charged Chelsea vintage will be on display on Wednesday night and it is hard to disagree. It is a semi-final, three games away from the need to acquire Euros for next season and the boss says he expects a high-tempo game.

Chelsea have certainly got players well suited to that style. The strikeforce of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen definitely look the part as a duo. Gudjohnsen appears to have staved off the threat of crowd favourite Gianfranco Zola and looks the perfect foil for the equally powerful and direct Hasselbaink.

Defensively Ranieri's men have also looked sound, with William Gallas and John Terry at the heart of a back line that has kept ten clean sheets this season. The return of Mercel Desailly from injury does, however, threaten the pairing. Another factor in Blues' solidity is the form of keeper Carlo Cudicini who appears to have made the No.1 spot his own ahead of Ed de Goey and Mark Bosnich.

Our last encounter with Chelsea in September was a thrilling affair that ended with us desperately unlucky not to emerge with any points after a 3-2 defeat following a late Desailly header.

Four months on we meet again over two legs with the prize a trip to Cardiff. Let's hope it's us taking a sneaky look at train timetables after the first leg.