By Dominic Toner
Charlie Nicholas has predicted Tottenham to edge Chelsea in extra-time during their FA Cup showdown, but highlighted Eden Hazard and Dele Alli as the two potential match winners.
Spurs face their London rivals on Saturday in the FA Cup semi-finals, while Arsenal face Manchester City in the other half of the draw.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are chasing Chelsea for the Premier League title this season and could deal a massive psychological blow if they beat them in the cup.
Sky Sports pundit Nicholas has picked out Chelsea playmaker Hazard and Spurs youngster Alli as the two key players ahead of the cup meeting, but is just favouring a victory for Pochettino’s team.
“This is such a tough one to call,” Nicholas told Sky Sports. “With one win each against each other and so many similarities to how they function, I can see extra-time, potentially even penalties.
“Eden Hazard and Dele Alli are the big two match winners here, not just in terms of goals, but creating chances for their strikers. However, it’s probably that department where I edge towards Spurs, with Diego Costa going off the boil, willing to fight and scrap but not scoring goals, whereas you know Harry Kane will score if he gets a couple of chances.”
Alli has been in fantastic form for Spurs so far this season and continued his meteoric rise at White Hart Lane.
The 21-year-old has made 43 appearances across all competitions this campaign, scoring 19 goals and supplying 11 assists.
The attacking midfielder scored twice during a 2-0 victory over Chelsea in January and will be hoping for a repeat performance.
Meanwhile, Chelsea talisman Hazard has been able to recapture his best form and is a nominee for the PFA Player of the Year.
The 26-year-old has terrorised defences with his dribbling and is considered the Blues’ best attacking threat.
He has scored 14 goals and supplied six assists in 35 appearances this season and will be keen to add to that tally against Spurs.
In other Tottenham news, Frank Lampard has shared what is magical about the club’s player.