Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur
Stamford Bridge; Premier League; Sat, 24th March; 12:45pm KO.
John Terry is set to return for the clash against Spurs after missing out against Manchester City in midweek, although Branislav Ivanovic is tipped to miss out after limping off against the Citizens.
Oriol Romeu is fit again after recovering from a knee injury.
Aaron Lennon is set to miss out for the visitors, and is still suffering from a hamstring strain.
Emmanuel Adebayor is a doubt and Ledley King faces a late fitness test, but Michael Dawson and Tom Huddlestone will definitely miss out.
Di Matteo & Van der Vaart braced for battle
Chelsea caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo is hoping his players can respond instantly from Wednesday night’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester City.
The Blues have little time to recover from the midweek reverse at the hands of Roberto Mancini’s side, and now face a pivotal battle in the race for fourth against a stuttering Tottenham Hotspur.
Di Matteo isn’t looking for excuses though, and knows he will have to rotate his squad in order to cope with the heavy schedule of matches, which are now coming thick and fast.
“We cannot look further ahead than the next game, we haven't got the time to do that because the position we're in doesn't allow us to do that,” said the Italian during today’s press conference.
“We're playing every three days so we need to utilise the whole squad, select a team that is fresh and can reach the intensity levels you need. The recovery time at the moment is more important, sessions are short to maintain fitness levels and sharpness but there's not much time to do anything else.”
As for Spurs, they are looking to take the positives from their Wednesday night draw against Stoke, and build on the point against their London rivals.
Rafael Van der Vaart scored an injury-time equaliser against the Potters, and the Dutchman is adamant his teammates can produce an improved display at Stamford Bridge.
"It was a hard game, we played a bad game - including myself - but it could be a massive point. The game against Chelsea is important because if we can win then we'll be stronger in fourth place," Van der Vaart told Spurs TV Online.
"Everyone knows we need to play better against Chelsea otherwise we won't have a chance, but we will fight until the end."