Belfast Telegraph

Tottenham v Chelsea: Gary Cahill urging Blues to keep up momentum for London derby

By Matt McGeehan

Gary Cahill hopes Chelsea can carry the momentum gained from claiming consecutive wins for the first time in two months into Sunday's London derby at Tottenham.

The reeling Premier League champions followed last Saturday's 1-0 win over Norwich with a 4-0 Champions League victory at Maccabi Tel Aviv which leaves their Group G fate in their own hands.

A truer test of their resurgence will come at White Hart Lane, though, where Chelsea lost 5-3 on New Year's Day.

"It's important we keep this momentum going," Cahill said.

"It was (important) for a number of reasons. First and foremost was for the Champions League and to make sure we put ourselves in a position to try to qualify top.

Read more:

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"But also to build the momentum off the back of the Norwich result and keep building these wins and try to gather wins to turn this around. It was important for a lot of reasons and very pleasing."

Chelsea are likely to be without John Terry against Spurs after the captain suffered an ankle injury on a pitch boss Jose Mourinho described as "dangerous".

Ramires also suffered an injury on the eve of the encounter, ruling the midfielder out of the match. The full extent of the injuries is likely to be determined by scans, while Mourinho will have work to do to inspire Diego Costa back to form after the pair's half-time bust-up in Haifa.

The absence of Terry may hinder the Blues, but they have 48 hours' additional preparation time than Spurs, returning from Israel on Wednesday as their rivals flew out to Azerbaijan for their Europa League clash with Qarabag, which takes place tonight.

Sunday's midday kick-off time has irked Mauricio Pochettino, whose side have lost three times in 18 games in all competitions this season. Chelsea sit 10 points and 10 places behind Spurs in the Premier League.

"We've got this week to prepare for the Tottenham game," Cahill added. "They're playing very well. I've no doubt it'll be an entertaining game and one where we're hoping to be on the end of the right result."

Chelsea's defeat of Norwich ended a three-match losing streak in the Premier League and the win over Maccabi leaves Chelsea certain of qualification for the Champions League last 16 if they beat Mourinho's former club Porto at Stamford Bridge on December 9.

Porto lost at home to Dynamo Kiev, who play Maccabi Tel Aviv in the final game and could also qualify, with the Israelis eliminated.

"We knew at half-time they (Kiev) were leading so it meant it was even more important for us," Cahill added. "We knew if we won, it would be in our hands at Stamford Bridge. So bring it on."

It was Cahill's goal which began a rout which materialised only late on as 10-man Maccabi made Chelsea work for victory.

Willian's free-kick and late headers from Oscar and Kurt Zouma completed the win.

Uefa have ordered Dynamo Kiev to play their next three European home games in an empty stadium as punishment for offences including racist behaviour by fans during the Champions League match against Chelsea last month.

Football's European anti-discrimination body Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) passed footage to Uefa of an apparent attack on four black fans at the match in Ukraine on October 20 which ended 0-0. Charges were brought against Dynamo for racist behaviour, crowd disturbances and blocked stairways.

The club have also been fined €100,000 and the order of closed doors for the third match will be suspended for three years.

A Uefa statement read: "Dynamo Kiev have been ordered to play their next three Uefa matches as host club behind closed doors."

Belfast Telegraph


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