Branislav Ivanovic has urged his side to strengthen their position at the top of the Premier League table by claiming the scalp of London rivals Tottenham when the two sides meet at White Hart Lane after the international break.
Chelsea do not have the best of records following internationals and have only won three out of their last seven after a break, with the most recent being the goalless draw against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road earlier this season, so they may want to keep one eye on the Spurs game despite their commitments to their respective national sides.
Ivanovic is focussed on his job once he’s back in Chelsea blue:
“The international break is a good time to enjoy our position but there is a very important period coming up for us after the break.
“We have some very tough games and they will be a great challenge for us. At the moment it’s OK but the next two games will be very, very tough.
“It’s always very difficult to play the game after the international break, but especially when it’s big opponents like Tottenham away.
“Our games against Tottenham were very interesting and tough for both sides even before Andre [Villas-Boas] went there. Now it is especially so for both sides with our ex-manager.
“It will be difficult in one way and in the other way we know what is the idea and what we can expect of them.
“This game will be decided by things like when you are back from your international duty and how tired you are – the small details. So it’s going to be tough for us.”
(Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicle)
It’s still early days to be talking about this one but I’m hoping we put in a better performance post-internationals than we have in the past. With Spurs creeping up the table they’ll hope to compete for a top four spot and this is not only the perfect opportunity to secure our position in top spot further, but increase the gap between ourselves and another of the Premier League’s better sides.
Our games against Tottenham are always something to look forward to, especially as neither side are particularly fond of each other, but this one has added spice to it as Andre Villas-Boas will face his former employers for the first time since he was dismissed in March and he’ll also be squaring up to Roberto Di Matteo, who was his assistant during his time at Stamford Bridge.
Roll on the October 20th, eh?