Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino said that his team will be under as much pressure as London rivals Chelsea when the two face off at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Sunday. Both teams are looking to secure a top-four finish to ensure participation in next season’s Champions League. Fourth-placed Tottenham currently occupies the final qualification spot and sit five points ahead of Chelsea with eight games left this season.
“It is always a massive game because it is a London derby. I think when you play this type of game, I think the pressure is for both teams,” Pochettino told a news conference on Thursday. “Of course there are still a lot of games to play, it is not a final. It is not a decisive game that is going to put you in one or another position… but obviously it is important for your confidence, your motivation.”
Tottenham have not beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since 1990, when striker Gary Lineker scored the winning goal in a 2-1 league victory. “I think it is not a point of focus for us – we are focused on performance and the possibility to be better than them and have the capacity to win the game,” Pochettino added.
“Of course the history is the history. It’s there but it’s not going to help, first of all Chelsea and then us… to win against Chelsea would be fantastic for everyone but it will be a tough game, they are a good team.” Harry Kane will be assessed before the weekend, with the striker stepping up his recovery from an ankle injury he picked up in this month’s 4-1 win over Bournemouth.
“I think it’s difficult now to say yes or no, to be involved or not in the game. If not this weekend, maybe next weekend but the most important thing is that we are so positive about his recovery.”