Chelsea have not lost back-to-back matches for over a year, but a defeat to Spurs could prove to be far more damaging than just crashing of the FA Cup. A win for Tottenham would ramp up the pressure ahead of difficult fixtures against Southampton and Everton in the league next week and could well impact the eventual outcome of the Premier League.
The Blues were thoroughly outplayed by a weakened Manchester United team on the weekend and Antonio Conte will be desperate to turn around his team’s fortunes against their North London rivals.
Conte has history on his side as Chelsea have won the FA Cup six times since Spurs last won it but Tottenham’s imperious form in the league voids this statistic completely. Chelsea could once again be without Thibaut Courtois who picked up an injury while filming an NBA commercial but Marco Alonso is expected to make his return from illness.
Tottenham Hotspur’s season has been one of improvement and pure optimism. Spurs have not won a noteworthy prize since the Carling Cup in 2008, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men have their eyes on the realistic chance of winning both the FA Cup and the Premier League this season. Chelsea’s loss to Manchester United in the league would have had Spurs licking their lips but with the knowledge that a loss against Chelsea could well mean that their dream season so far could fizzle out in to nothing. Tottenham will be without the likes of Michel Vorm and Eric Lamela. Danny Rose has returned to training but is unlikely to feature.
What time is kick-off?
The match will start at 5.15pm on Saturday.
Where can I watch it?
BBC One. Coverage starts at 4.50pm.
It’s a big match for…
Asmir Begovic: The Chelsea second choice keeper has missed three Wembley FA cup ties in his career (twice at Portsmouth and once at Stoke) and it looks as if he will finally get his chance despite it being mostly due to the injury of Thibaut Courtois. Begovic will be hoping for a dream Wembley FA Cup debut as well as a chance to make up for the Manchester United nightmare.
The Chelsea dressing room celebrated a dramatic 2-1 win over Liverpool at a packed out Wembley stadium in 2012.
Player to watch…
Dele Alli. The 21-year-old has scored 16 Premier League goals for Tottenham this season, and just 12 months after picking up the PFA young player of the year award, Alli is once again the favourite to win the prize this year. Alli has a knack of scoring in big games and with the likely absence of Son Heung-Min it will be down to him and Harry Kane to take up the primary goal scoring roles.
Chelsea to win: 17/10
Tottenham to win: 9/5