Roberto Di Matteo today told his Chelsea side they cannot afford their first home defeat to Spurs in 22 years.
Tottenham’s last victory at Stamford Bridge was in February 1990 but Harry Redknapp’s side arrive in SW6 five points clear of the Blues in the battle for fourth.
And Di Matteo seemed to effectively concede a Champions League spot would be almost out of the question should that Tottenham hoodoo end tomorrow.
”We are playing at home and want to take advantage of our form at Stamford Bridge and our supporters as well.
“A win would give us big lift but also if we manage to get the draw we’re still in it.
“But if we lose it will be very difficult for us. I’m not contemplating that but it would be difficult. Whatever happens, it would still be mathematically possible and we will fight to the end but want to have a good game.”
Chelsea’s chances of continuing that long unbeaten streak were boosted by confirmation skipper John Terry is fit to return after missing the defeat at Manchester City with a calf strain.
But thigh victim Branislav Ivanovic seems set to miss out with the thigh problem that saw him last barely 20 minutes at the Etihad and Di Matteo has to juggle his resources ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Benfica.
“It is a big week but before the Napoli game was such a week as well,” said Di Matteo. “We’re used to these kind of games. Tomorrow is another one. Both teams are fighting for fourth and we all understand the importance of that.
“We must try to exploit Spurs’ current form. We haven’t lost a game at Stamford Bridge in 2012 and we would like that to continue.
“Losing at City was a bit of a setback but as I’ve said before – the target has to be fourth. If we got third that would be very good but we have to target fourth.
“We have the most difficult schedule, for certain, to the end of the season compared to the others, to Arsenal and Tottenham.
“But we have a good team and squad, almost fully-fit. We have all the resources we need to be able to challenge for that.”