Soccer-Struggling Chelsea hope visit to Spurs can kick-start their season
By Peter Hall
MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Time is running out for Chelsea to salvage something from their season as they prepare to visit Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday but the Blues' record against their London rivals will give coach Graham Potter hope that a much-needed win is on the horizon.
Despite their record January transfer window spending of around 300 million pounds ($361.08 million), Chelsea have won one of their last 10 matches in all competitions.
They sit 10th in the Premier League standings, 11 points behind Spurs in fourth albeit with a game in hand.
The major problem Potter is having to deal with is a lack of goals. While Manchester United's Marcus Rashford has scored 13 times in all competitions so far in the calendar year, Chelsea's misfiring players have mustered just four between them.
A visit to Tottenham could be just what the doctor ordered. Spurs have lost all three of their home league games at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium against Chelsea by an aggregate score of 6-0.
Chelsea are also unbeaten in eight Premier League meetings with Spurs, while they are looking to become just the third team to win four consecutive away league games against Tottenham.
Spurs could be without coach Antonio Conte in the dugout again as he recovers from gallbladder surgery, but assistant Christian Stellini has a 100% record when in temporary charge of the team this term.
"When you don't get results, it can be tough," the under-pressure Potter said after last weekend's home loss against Southampton. "That's how it is.
"Some people will think I'm the problem. I don't think they're right but that doesn't mean they can't articulate their views."
Manchester City looked back to their best at leaders Arsenal last Wednesday as they ran out 3-1 winners to leapfrog the Gunners -- a performance that left their title rivals fearing the worst.
However, last weekend's results saw the pendulum swing once more. Arsenal's loss to City looked to have done damage to their confidence as they trailed 2-1 at Aston Villa in Saturday's early kick-off.
However, showing the character of champions, they scored three goals without reply, including two in stoppage time, to move back to the top with a two-point lead over City, having played one game fewer.
Another tough trip to the Midlands lies ahead for Arsenal this week as they travel to Leicester City on Saturday.
Leicester have won just three of their 11 home league games this season - the division's second worst record - but have improved of late, thrashing Tottenham 4-1 in their last match at the King Power Stadium.
Champions Manchester City will look to recover from two successive 1-1 draws in matches they dominated -- at RB Leipzig in their Champions League last-16 first leg in midweek and away to Nottingham Forest last weekend -- when they travel to the south coast to face struggling Bournemouth.
Bournemouth have never beaten City in 17 previous league meetings -- it is the most times one team has faced another without ever winning in English Football League history.
There is a relegation battle taking place on Saturday in West Yorkshire as second-bottom Leeds United welcome the only side below them, managerless Southampton, to Elland Road.
Leeds appointed former Watford coach Javi Gracia as manager this week, with his new team without a victory in their last 10 league games, the longest current such run in the competition.
Only twice have the Yorkshire side had a longer streak without a win in the top flight.
Four of Southampton's five league wins this season have come away, including a 1-0 victory at Chelsea last time out.
West Ham United start the weekend in the drop zone and host Forest on Saturday, while Everton will be looking to pull clear of the bottom three with victory at home to Villa.
Liverpool travel to Crystal Palace in Saturday's late kick off, while Manchester United and Newcastle United clash in the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.
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(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Ken Ferris)