“March is the month” – said Arsene Wenger – right before Arsenal were beaten by Stoke. It’s a tough month for Arsenal but that only turns it into an opportunity for their London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham to take advantage of Arsenal’s potential slip-ups.
Tottenham are 6 points behind Arsenal and 10 behind Chelsea – a title charge is arguably beyond them but there’s still room to overtake Arsenal for the Champions League spots. After all, Arsenal have to visit both Tottenham and Chelsea in March, and two home wins in those games could easily turn the tide in Tottenham’s favour.
Tottenham themselves have a lot to play for in March – after Chelsea, they have Premier League games against Arsenal, Southampton and Liverpool to fit around a two-legged Europa League tie against Benfica. The players won’t have time to even place a bet on Cheltenham at Betfair, or think about who the next manager will be next season. It’s game after game and the players need to step up and start winning.
Chelsea aren’t about to make this easy – Tottenham haven’t won in the league at Stamford Bridge since 10 February 1990, and with Jose Mourinho back at the helm Chelsea’s home record will take more than just a great performance from Adebayor, Soldado and co to topple.
Tottenham have the division’s best away record though, with 29 points claimed on their travels, and the key for them would be to ensure that they can balance the need to score to stay in the game with the need to handle Chelsea’s counter-attacking threat.
Of course, with neither Eto’o or Torres in their world-beating form, it’s not Chelsea’s strikeforce Spurs will be worried about but the midfield.
Tottenham tend to play better with the odds against them, and with Chelsea favourites in this league it would suit Spurs just fine to play the underdog and aim to snatch a win or even a draw.
Do that and beat Arsenal, and they could be in the Champions League next season.