For much of the past decade, Chelsea have undoubtedly dominated London football. Three Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one Champions League triumph, and a Europa League have all been notched by the west London mega-club.
But this year might finally mark the Stamford Bridge outfits’ toppling as London’s biggest club. And the Blues face off against their potential usurpers, Tottenham Hotspur, in a massive Premier League clash this Sunday.
Chelsea currently occupy fifth position, five points behind fourth-placed Spurs. With Chelsea’s European hopes dashed by Barcelona, leapfrogging Spurs into the top four is their only route to Champions League football next year.
A win for Spurs would open up an enormous eight-point gap with just seven matches to play; a surely insurmountable deficit to overcome in such a short timespan.
The implications of Chelsea’s failure to secure their place in Europe’s elite competition next year, and additionally Spurs’ securement of their spot, would be seismic.
This would mark the second time in the last three seasons that Chelsea have failed to play in the Champions League, and although they have won the league twice in that span, the dramatic inconsistency is a worrying sign.
Tottenham, although without a major trophy since their League Cup win over the Blues a decade ago, certainly appear the club with an upward trajectory. They will move into their new stadium next year, a state-of-the-art complex that will truly usher Spurs into the Premier League elite.
In addition, the north London club’s strong tradition of fostering academy products and building a core of British players is paying off, leaving Spurs well-suited for the future.
A team led by England superstars Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose, and Harry Winks looks set to compete at the top of the league for many years to come.
But in order to book their place among the continent’s top clubs next year, Spurs must pull off a feat that hasn’t been achieved since 1990 and win away at Stamford Bridge.
Gain the historic three points, and it may just mark a changing of the guard in London.