Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea: Potter on Brink as Spurs Seek Derby Win

Written by: Greg Lea
Updated February 21, 2023
5 min read
  • Chelsea boss Graham Potter is under pressure after a dismal set of results in 2023
  • Tottenham Hotspur climbed into the top four of the Premier League last weekend
  • Spurs can inflict further misery on their London rivals by emerging triumphant here

Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea Odds

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Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea Pick

Back Tottenham Hotspur to beat Chelsea on Sunday. The Blues are in woeful form and it is hard to see how Graham Potter survives until the end of the season.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea Prediction

Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea Predictions

Potter in Trouble as Chelsea May Be Forced to Alter Their Plan

When Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly replaced Thomas Tuchel with Graham Potter in September, he was putting his mark on the club he had taken over a few months earlier. "He is a proven coach and an innovator in the Premier League who fits our vision for the club,” Boehly said of the former Brighton & Hove Albion manager.

It is fair to say things have not gone to plan since then. Chelsea were sixth in the Premier League table when Tuchel was dismissed. They are now 10th, and just three points above the bottom half. 

Their title ambitions disappeared a long time ago. And with an 11-point deficit to the top four, Chelsea have now consigned themselves to being absent from the 2023/24 edition of the Champions League. Even qualification for the Europa League or the Europa Conference League looks unlikely as things stand.

A 1-0 defeat by Southampton last time out has left Potter under huge pressure, to the extent that the club felt the need on Monday to brief journalists that he was not about to be sacked. The powers that be at Stamford Bridge continue to insist that they are taking a long-term view and have faith in Potter’s ability to turn things around.

But managers are ultimately judged by results and Potter might not survive another negative one this weekend. That is especially the case given the nature of Chelsea’s opponents. Tottenham are one of the club’s chief rivals; this is a match that their fans hate to lose.

Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp had difficult moments early on in their respective tenures at Manchester City and Liverpool, as Potter himself referenced recently. But they also had a proven track record at clubs of similar size. Unless results improve quickly, Chelsea will soon be looking for a new manager.

Tottenham Must Find Consistency to Succeed in Top-Four Race

For all that this season has been pretty woeful for Chelsea, they have at least done something Tottenham have not by winning three Premier League games on the bounce. In fact, the Blues won four on the bounce in September and October, three of which came under the guidance of Potter.

The best Spurs have managed is two successive wins, something they have done on four occasions. They have not lost three matches in a row in 2022/23 either, which neatly illustrates just how inconsistent Antonio Conte’s team have been.

This month alone, Tottenham have beaten Manchester City - the favorites to win the Premier League title with the best online sportsbooks - and been thumped by Leicester City. Those matches were just six days apart, yet there was a world of difference between Spurs’ showings in each of them.

If Tottenham can find a semblance of consistency between now and the end of the campaign, fourth place is there for the taking. 

Newcastle United, whose priority seems to be winning the EFL Cup final this weekend, have stuttered recently. Liverpool look to have turned a corner, but they are still seven points adrift of Spurs. Granted, they have played two fewer games than Conte’s side, but there is no guarantee that they will win both of those.

Spurs’ upcoming fixtures are not the hardest. After Chelsea, they are due to face Wolverhampton Wanderers, Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Everton, Brighton and Bournemouth between now and mid-April. The next few weeks could determine whether or not the north London outfit qualify for the Champions League.

Defeat on Sunday Could Bring to an End Potter’s Chelsea Tenure

There can be no doubting Potter’s coaching credentials. He turned Brighton from relegation candidates into European contenders, and did so by creating a team that played some of the best soccer in the Premier League. 

But things have not gone to plan at Chelsea and it is hard to see Potter being able to turn things around from here. He increasingly looks like a bad fit for a club that has long identified with managers with big personalities, such as Jose Mourinho, Conte and Tuchel.

Chelsea’s somewhat scattergun approach to recruitment has arguably not helped Potter, who has been landed with a large, unwieldy squad. The Blues have been unfortunate with injuries at times too.

But for all that Chelsea insist they have a long-term vision, a defeat this weekend would surely force their hand. That looks like the most likely result too. Chelsea simply do not score enough goals - they have managed just one in their last five outings in all competitions - and Spurs should take advantage.

Conte’s side should be aiming to build up a head of steam in the coming weeks, and a victory over Chelsea would go a long way to helping them in that regard.

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How to Watch Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea

  • Teams: Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea
  • Location: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, England
  • Date and Time: Sunday, 25 February 2023, 8:30 AM EST 
  • How to Watch: USA Network, fuboTV
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Greg Lea

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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Politics
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